Introduction & Overview of Darkness Visible by William Styron

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Darkness Visible.
This section contains 217 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Darkness Visible Study Guide

Darkness Visible Summary & Study Guide Description

Darkness Visible Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Darkness Visible by William Styron.

Developed from a lecture William Styron gave at a symposium on affective disorders at Johns Hopkins University, Darkness Visible was first published as an essay in the December 1989 issue of Vanity Fair. The title derives from Milton's description of hell in Paradise Lost. The slim book chronicles Styron's battle with depression, which consumes him shortly after his sixtieth birthday. Styron begins his story in October 1985 when he flies to Paris to receive the prestigious Prix Mondial Cino del Duca. During this trip the writer's mental state begins to deteriorate rapidly. Using a mix of anecdotes, speculation, and reportage, Styron reflects on the causes and effects of depression, drawing links between his own illness and that of celebrities and writers such as Virginia Woolf, Randall Jarrell, Albert Camus, Romain Gary, Primo Levi, Ernest Hemingway, and Abbie Hoffman. Critically acclaimed for its honesty and Styron's unflinching examination of his condition, Darkness Visible helped to de-mystify depression at a time when the disease was gaining more visibility in the media. The early 1990s saw the popularization of Prozac, a radically new kind of antidepressant, which was released in 1987 and is now the most widely prescribed antidepressant in the world. Styron's reputation as an internationally-acclaimed writer, and an older one, also helped the book gain a wide readership.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 217 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Darkness Visible Study Guide
Copyrights
Nonfiction Classics for Students
Darkness Visible from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.