’I Was in Another Place’: The liminal journey in Leonora Carrington’s Down Below'

Zinnari, A. (2020) ’I Was in Another Place’: The liminal journey in Leonora Carrington’s Down Below'. In: Mann, M., Shannon, R., Hewison, J. and Cox, A. (eds.) Leonora Carrington: Living Legacies. Vernon Press: Wilmington, USA. ISBN 9781622737451

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Publisher's URL: https://vernonpress.com/book/810


The events of the late 1930s left a definitive mark on Carrington’s life, and are worth exploring to help better understand her later artistic production. In the memoir of her traumatic experience entitled Down Below (1944), Carrington gives an account of her mental breakdown and of the abuse suffered in the hospital. In the narrative, she indicates “Down Below” as the pavilion in the asylum that represented for her liberation and recovery, skilfully converting what seemed like a tragic unfolding of unfortunate events into a quest for knowledge and autonomy. In this chapter, I will analyse Carrington’s “voyage to the other side of reason” (Warner 2017: xxiii), reading her experience as a liminal journey in which the asylum represents the threshold between darkness and light, not knowing and knowing.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Leonora Carrington; Surrealism; women artists.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zinnari, Dr Alessia
Authors: Zinnari, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Italian
Publisher:Vernon Press
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