How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind : Madness and Black Radical Creativity-9781478010876

How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind : Madness and Black Radical Creativity by Bruce, La Marr Jurelle

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Author: Bruce, La Marr Jurelle


Published on 18 June 2021 by Duke University Press in the United States as part of 'the Black Outdoors: Innovations in the Poetics of Study' series.

Paperback | 360 pages, 4 illustrations
153 x 230 x 25 | 528g

'Hold tight. The way to go mad without losing your mind is sometimes unruly.' So begins La Marr Jurelle Bruce's urgent provocation and poignant meditation on madness in black radical art. Bruce theorizes four overlapping meanings of madness: the lived experience of an unruly mind, the psychiatric category of serious mental illness, the emotional state also known as 'rage,' and any drastic deviation from psychosocial norms. With care and verve, he explores the mad in the literature of Amiri Baraka, Gayl Jones, and Ntozake Shange; in the jazz repertoires of Buddy Bolden, Sun Ra, and Charles Mingus; in the comedic performances of Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle; in the protest music of Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, and Kendrick Lamar, and beyond. These artists activate madness as content, form, aesthetic, strategy, philosophy, and energy in an enduring black radical tradition. Joining this tradition, Bruce mobilizes a set of interpretive practices, affective dispositions, political principles, and existential orientations that he calls 'mad methodology.' Ultimately, How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind is both a study and an act of critical, ethical, radical madness.