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Creativity and the Burden of Thoughts

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Deconstructing Melancholia in Wumi Raji’s Rolling Dreams

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The art of creative expression is a mentally tasking endeavour which requires intense probing of the creator’s inward states. Since writers create in solitude and and engage in dialogic strategies in shaping their imagery, they manifest ‘normal’ neurotic episodes, which are privileged as markers of artistic genius. Despair has thus been acknowledged as a significant feature of the creative imagination. Many writers script out their distressed moods, a paradoxical catharsis, in artistic mentation, that has become a major issue in contemporary studies of scriptotherapy, especially in Europe and North America. Studies of psychotherapy have revealed that the art of re-creating agonizing experiences brings mental restoration to the writer. Due to the emotional commitment and spontaneity required, poetry is clearly a convenient literary genre for the exploration of despondency and melancholic depression. However, this subject of poetry therapy has not been given adequate attention in Nigerian literary scholarship. The present study attempts an exemplary ‘poetic-diagnosis’ of melancholia in Wumi Raji’s Rolling Dreams. The article relies on psychoanalysis, a theory of the mind, deployed for the analysis of the abject imagery of the poems, and on deconstructionist theory, for autonomous and polysemous investigation of the melancholic poetic canvas of the collection.

Affiliations: 1: College of Education, Warri


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