Non-Fiction Books:

The Slumber of Apollo

Reflections on Recent Art, Literature, Language and the Individual Consciousness


Paperback / softback

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The Slumber of Apollo by John Holloway
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In this challenging 1993 book John Holloway explores one of the most significant aspects of contemporary culture, arguing that over the last hundred years or so there has been a radical change in the very nature of individual consciousness. He traces a crucial shift from an 'Apollonian' ideal of human involvement in the widest range of experience (implying a sense of the individual consciousness as spacious, orderly, and comprehensive) to a narrower and less integrated engagement with the world (and a more reductive conception of consciousness as random and fragmented). He plots this shift through a number of quite different fields: there are chapters on the visual arts, on colloquial language and slang, on cartoons, on political rhetoric, and on 'personality' studies by psychologists. He goes on to examine the work of certain literary figures (notably Hardy, Edwin Muir, Wyndham Lewis, Patrick White, John Cowper Powys, and Gary Snyder) who seem to have recognized, and registered in imaginative terms, the pervasive but generally unrecorded changes in consciousness for which the book is arguing.
Release date NZ
November 17th, 2005
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Cambridge University Press
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