I’m fascinated by Western civilization at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, both historically and culturally. Particularly in Europe, the dissolution of historical periods such as the Victorian Era, la Belle Epoque, and the corresponding Gilded Age (in America) in the face of the raging path of Modernism is a powerful and arresting image in my mind.
As a psychology student, I wrote an academic paper about the origins of hysteria and psychoanalysis in Vienna during this tumultuous period. I’m going to post an abridged version of this paper in two parts; I think this subject is fascinating to people due to its colorfulness and equal strangeness. For the third segment, I’ll be acknowledging some of the cultural manifestations of this interest: the film A Dangerous Method, the relatively recent and excellent Sarah Ruhl play In the Next Room(or The Vibrator Play), and the film Hysteria.