Feeling stressed?

In Stress in literature by Camilla

The beginning of a journey mapping stress in literature

So. This is it. The beginning of my thesis in literature. I’ve set sail to conquer the world. My goal is not a small one and I won’t settle for less. I want to show how literature is actually a way to take the temperature of the society; check in on how we’re doing as a collective community. And when I look around me, I see stress: People chasing time.

I’m not going to explore how and why we feel stress. Others have done that a lot better than me. I am, however, going to explore how stress is a symptom of a society in distress – and how, ultimately, this distress shows in literature. Literature seen as a product of, not only a writer’s hand, but surroundings, conditions and culture. This literature thesis will, therefore, be methodically based in more than one area: sociology, cultural sciences, literature, physiology and psychology. And it will, if succesful, be an example on how literature is not just entertainment, but a remain of a time, maybe our time. If society is the body, literature is one of the symptoms: A way to understand how we live, now and in the future.

The following months have now been dedicated to professor Peter Sloterdijk, whose books on modern society, I hope, will be the foundation of my idea. But the thesis will need to explore affect theory, capitalism critic and modern psychology as well. Because the society is not a phenomena to observe from one angle; we need to draw with all colors on our palette to see the nuances.

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