bookshelves: Literature and Psychology

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Tolstoy Therapy

Lucy, the blogger behind Tolstoy Therapy, writes on her About page:

I do not encourage reading over therapy or medication, and nor am I a clinician. I’ve personally found literature to be a great way to complement my therapy and self-care, but by no means do I think that it should be used alone when dealing with severe problems.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important this caveat is. Nothing you find on a web site should keep you from seeking necessary help from a mental health professional.

Lucy stresses that her blog describes her own experiences with reading. “I would recommend using books to help your wellbeing, but only when you are sure that you are receiving the support and guidance that you need as well.” Her posts include “Tips for Reading War and Peace and Getting Started with Leo Tolstoy” as well as recommendations like “18 Books for Winter.”

this space

From the site’s About page:

This Space exists to join the movement to destigmatise, without romanticising, mental health issues. It’s a space for everything from poetry to prose, from personal accounts to scientific pieces, and from fine art to comics. It does not exist to tell anyone what to do or how to feel, but we hope that what it will provide is an insight into a variety of perspectives on mental health, some relatable, some informative. No two people are the same, and no two people’s experience with mental health is the same. This Space is for respecting the individual and debunking stereotypes, and, through doing so, creating a community.

Most of “the team” behind this site are from England. The site solicits articles from readers about their own mental health experiences while allowing that “personal experience should not be declared as universally true.” Articles are labeled with “content warnings (CW) to denote potentially triggering content.”

the invisible event

On this site an Invisible Blogger, gender unspecified, discusses classic crime fiction at length.

The Stone and the Shell

Ted Underwood, who teaches English literature at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, here focuses on “applying machine learning algorithms to large digital collections.”

The name of the blog is drawn from a dream described in the fifth book of Wordsworth’s Prelude, where a shell seems to represent poetry, and a stone mathematics — or at any rate, “geometric truth.”

He doesn’t use the term digital humanities, but, if I understand that term correctly, it seems to be the process his work involves.

Electric Literature

This is more a digital magazine than a blog. Here’s how Electric Literature describes itself:

Electric Literature is a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the power of storytelling through digital innovation. Our mission is to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture by fostering digital innovation, supporting writers, building community, and broadening the audience for literary fiction. We believe the transformative experience of reading literature fosters empathy and explores the human condition like no other art form.

Electric Literature offers features, book discussions, and interviews.

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