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Meeting the Madwoman: Empowering the Feminine Spirit Paperback – March 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
This richly evocative study by a Jungian analyst posits the existence of a madwoman archetype. The image appears frequently in women's dreams, according to Leonard ( The Wounded Women: Healing the Father and Daughter Relationship ). And she makes a good case that the madwoman is a messenger, metaphor and model who points the way to women's liberation. The author encourages women to acknowledge their own madwoman in order to transform themselves. She intriguingly redefines many female stereotypes--The Dark Muse, The Recluse, The Bag Lady, The Visionary, The Caged Bird--in relation to her archetype. What is especially interesting here are the examples from famous women, literature, films and Leonard's own patients. The most remarkable include Camille Claudel, Alma Mahler, Maria Callas, Rosa Luxemburg and Rachel Carson--as well as the imaginary Medea, Mrs. Bridges, Blue Angel and Thelma and Louise. Leonard also shows how some of the real women she writes about were influenced by the fictional or mythical women. In this work, she provides a new perspective on how women can break out of culturally imposed roles.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Feminine madness entraps women in traditional, patriarchal roles, keeping creativity captive to repressed anger and fear. Jungian analyst Leonard ( On the Way to the Wedding , LJ 6/15/86; Witness to the Fire , Shambhala, 1989) employs her talent as storyteller to treat us to yet another book on psychological archetypes. Mad energy is wasted on archetypes such as the saint, the ice queen, the dragon lady, the sick mother, the caged bird, the muse, the rejected lover, the bag lady, the recluse, and the revolutionary. She explains the archetypes of contemporary women as well as those of representative women in history (Camille Claudel as the muse); in films and novels ( Thelma and Louise as revolutionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge as caged bird); and in mythology and fairy tales. Leonard uses more examples than theorizing to make complex Jungian concepts understandable, accounting for her readability and popularity. Her latest book will certainly prove to be as successful as the others.
- Paula N. Arnold, Norwich Univ. Lib., Northfield, Vt.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The basic message Leonard imparts is that in the journey of spiritual and Self-realization the stage of `madness' precedes surrender and acceptance. Spiritual madness/ Breakdown is a potential path to truth, as it is a descent into darkness where all illusions are stripped away and an old consciousness and old belief system can be released. Essentially this state of madness involves a prolonged descent into the unknown. Intense suffering, disillusionment, and loneliness generally characterize this experience. During this intense prolonged crisis, one may feel abandoned, terrified and out of control. Initially the challenge is to turn within, and away from seeking direction from others, yet concomitantly remaining attuned to synchronicity and the principle of faith. Ultimately we are challenged to find communion from a new place of integration and perspective, in which paradox is embraced.
The plight of the the woman struggling to actualize parts of the self that have been rejected, involves a descent into madness. Leonard emphasizes that it is essential to differentiate between the divine madness that involves an inner descent/journey that can lead to integration, from that which can be referred to as destructive craziness. The inner Madwoman erupts, in an effort to confront inner and outer oppression, and subjugation. When the oppressive forces of order and control are challenged, the Madwoman emerges as an impulse towards freedom.Read more ›
I like the different archetypes in here - The Recluse, The Visionary, The Bag Lady, The Muse, The Revolutionary, also - Ice Queen, Rejected Lover, Caged Bird, Dragon Lady. I relate to all of those on different levels, especially Recluse, Visionary, Revolutionary.
I think they should've added the Angry Amazon, The Hunchback ( a male madwoman, but I definitely relate) and also the Adapter, strangely enough. I know a lot of women who are "adapters" and they have much inner madness bubbling around in their guts. Their smiles are cracking, their anger and torment just under the surface, they join patriarchal institutions, they tow the line, they talk about "soft" power in their attempt to manipulate the people that rule and/or abuse them, but they're very, very angry, I'm not so sure she's that oblivious either.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's important information here, food for contemplation and personal discovery. I took a star off because sometimes the writing bogs down and I have to skip forward, something... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tom Dunlap
Good practical book with evident and known examples and variable cultural background.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
She is poetry and a Goddess. The entire book is fascinating and soulful. I have never seen any other like it or anyone that writes the way she does. Read morePublished on July 10, 2014 by R Heier
I have used this book in many women's groups. It details the mad woman in all of us. I have purchased many copies for other women. Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by Melody L. Goodwin
Fascinating read. It engaged my attention from the first page to the last page. Great book, worth every reading. No regrets, money well spent.Published on January 8, 2014 by Olive Sanneh