Ecstatic Writing

ecstatic writing


What stimulates writing? What is the essential fuel when it comes to creating literature? Is literature the phenomenon of various states of ecstasy, and if so what are their sorts? How can various substances trigger a writer’s phantasy and what stabilizes the writing process? These are the central questions which Manojlovic and Putz investigate within their book Im Rausch des Schreibens


Thousands of influences drop into a writer’s mindset every single second causing a certain emotional state, triggering the creation of a philosophical fantasy world from which stories are being created. Stories, in turn, are like food to the writer, they help him define himself in the first place. Unsurprisingly, it’s like a secret equation every writer aims to solve in order to get into the ideal state for writing – a state of flow – where the written is flowing out of the mind upon the paper and where you properly succeed at escaping time.

So what characterizes the state of flow for a writer? The most common goals seem to be making the work routine easier as well as expanding one’s perception in order to grasp more intellectual and emotional complexes within a given moment. No surprise that ecstatic states of being an appeal as a magical solution to writers, as it’s a means of escaping logical and dull thought patterns. Within an ecstatic experience, everything is either intensified or minimized, so moving either too far to the positive or negative of one’s balance point. How to get there? There is the insulted mechanism of alcohol, drugs like hash, LSD or cocaine and cigarettes on the one hand, and more socially accepted means such as coffee, meditation, sport, education, anger or travel on the other hand.

A literal masterpiece seems to arise out of the duality of the physical as well as the symbolic. We have the concrete and the abstract. It may be that the writer aims to overcome these two multimedia states to form a more holistic state of the art in which the boundaries merge by various forms of bridges such as language, sounds, images, garbage, excrement, cadaver or bones. A permanent production. Life is transformed into art and art itself into life. Constantly, never coming to an end just like the concept of flow and ecstatic states.

We all know that it’s impossible to remain on a constant high and probably remember the morning after that amazing party in our freshman year. You can find a new way of understanding through the distance. You can make sense of what happened to you by the means of writing. It’s the same for a writer whose revolution starts from being quiet and within the regular sitting down, the note-taking, to rest on the factual ground. The order can bring a new level of adventure as found in the playing field of grammar, logic and physical values. To be calm and self-disciplinary brings balance, connects the ecstatic to certainty.





Title: Im Rausch des Schreibens* (German)
Editors: Katharina Manojlovic & Kerstin Putz
Publisher: Paul Zsolnay Verlag (Hanser)
Date: 28.4.2017 (Vienna)
: 383

Price: 27€ - order here
ISBN: 978-3-552-05826-2
Genre: Writing, Linguistic, Essays
Exhibition: In Vienna until 02.2018

*Thank you, Hanser, for providing the copy


Target Audience

This book speaks to all who suspect the word as a bigger entity than the much-hyped image in this current time in space. This book speaks to those who sense their own perception and knowledge of the world is likely made of errors. And also, this book speaks to those who seek to understand their own perceptual boundaries in order to broaden their horizon.


Within the sphere of Austrian literature, 29 essays illuminate five key chapters. To begin with, we learn about various substances and stimulations in relation to writing. Then we immerse into the process of ecstatic writing itself and learn how words are being produced. A broad selection of ecstatic texts, sketches, and diary entries represent the climax, however, balanced out in the light of excess and asceticism. 


Not going to lie, when my hands touched the smooth cover, I thought I was holding a university textbook in my hands. And when I skimmed the chapters, I knew this was going to be an in-depth study of the writing field. This book offers such detailed analysis of the ecstatic writing phenomenon which occurs in the minds of various writers, something I have never come across before. You may think that writing is a simple matter but this book sheds light on wide-ranging philosophical implications. I particularly enjoyed the tone of writing which is not using moral when talking about ecstasy, it is solely offering insights without judgment. We are invited to a true explorative journey and learn the lesson of the fine line between clarity and despair, truth and exaggeration, differentiation and repetition.


Who says the world is already explored?

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  1. Reading about what it is, it sounded like a handout my literature professor would give. Such critical thinking over what word art is to the point that it turns into a huge picture for everyone to see in different angles.

    I’ve been trying to look for books like this after my run through poetry with my professor. It’s nice to see things in different perspectives even if it shuts out your own opinion on things.

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