Wellcome Collection to publish writings on consciousness

Wellcome Collection to publish writings on consciousness

The Wellcome Collection is to publish a collection of writings on human consciousness with an introduction from writer Mark Haddon to accompany an exhibition opening in February 2016.

States of Mind: Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness is a collection of literature, science and art delving into the mysteries of human consciousness edited by Anna Faherty.

"Through the eyes of writers, artists, scientists and philosophers, States of Mind explores the meaning of consciousness and, in particular, the nature of interrupted or liminal conscious experiences, such as somnambulism, synaesthesia and disorders of memory," the publisher said. “These diverse – even conflicting – perspectives pose fundamental questions about what it means to be alive, aware and human.”

In his introduction, Haddon asks: “When does consciousness begin and when does it end? Do dreams give us access to some deeper truth? Can evil spirits possess us? What happens on that strange borderland between the conscious and the unconscious?” Haddon is the author of three novels and a volume of poetry. His latest book, The Pier Falls, is published by Jonathan Cape.

The collection draws on five centuries of thinking and includes works by Jane Austen, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley and Alan Turing.

Faherty is a writer, editor, researcher and teacher who has worked in publishing for almost 25 years. She is the author of the Reading Room Companion, published by Wellcome Collection.

The States of Mind exhibition intends to "interrogate our understanding of the conscious experience." It will explore phenomena such as somnambu­lism, synaesthesia and disorders of memory and examine ideas around the nature of consciousness.

States of Mind: Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness will be published on 4th February 2016 priced at £9.99.

Wellcome Collection is a museum based in London and is part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health.