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Obsession – A History - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Obsession: A History

Lennard J. Davis


We live in an age of obsession. Not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others: we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern. But obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category—both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which is describ ... More

Keywords: obsession, American, pathology, demonic possession, obsessive behavior, psychiatric problem, obsessive compulsive disorder, nymphomania, professional specialization

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226137827
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226137797.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lennard J. Davis, author