Melancholy Muse

The gloomy state of melancholy is, of course, universal. But among creative artists its prevalence is uncommonly high and exerts a powerful influence on their work.Long intrigued by this phenomenon, the University of Adelaide’s Professor Brian Castro has investigated it in creative writers worldwide for many years. His research indicates a significant factor in authors’ melancholy may be a set of internal contradictions.

For example, they may feel a drive for solitude and social agitation, yet produce prose that reflects a need for connection and acceptance.

Is their writing then largely an attempt to deal productively with this inner battle? And if so, do writers from different cultures experience it in different ways? In this fascinating presentation Professor Castro will share his insights.

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About the Speaker

Professor Brian Castro is Chair of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide. He is the author of nine novels and a past winner of a number of state and national prizes, including The Australian/Vogel literary award, The Age Fiction Prize and the National Book Council Prize for Fiction.

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