01 September 2009

psychotic language, 1964

in letters

4 comments:

thesundaygap said...

Wonderful letter. Thoughtful, articulate and inspired. How do you find these things?

Wrenna said...

Very cool that you read and liked it!

I wander extravagantly and detour often. I was looking up 'madness' and then 'psychosis' (broad enough?) in the NYRB archives after reading the book 'Hurry Down Sunshine,' by New Yorker contributor Michael Greenberg, about his daughter's first psychotic break at age fifteen... which I had read about a day or two earlier in a NYT article about the pillorying of a mother who wrote a book about her son's drug use and the questionable moral ground of such memoirs. [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/books/31myerson.html?ref=books] The NYRB had a review of Greenberg's book by Oliver Sacks.

I have been reading about psychosis generally - (theories to account for it, how the strength of research is interpreted, factors specific to women) - I find books by psychologists good, because they are highly practiced at communicating complex and nuanced ideas clearly and are inclined to see people and social context as well as illness.

I've also been reading essays (essays, not so much journalism) from the London Review of Books (many women in its editorial staff, lend a set of interests, especially history-oriented, that appeal, although I am simultaneously aware that in this case I am perhaps not a terribly progressive feminist interpreter), and in the sidebar "related" articles from the archive pop up, encouraging digression.

The magazine reading is a habit picked up when my attention span and ability to follow abstract argument didn't work. I hate, for reasons of personal prestige, that I have such a difficult time seeing the forest for the trees, information-wise, and that I do not have a clearly defined area of highest interest and/or expertise. It is incredibly difficult to move myself in such a direction. Mostly my interests are very useless.

I have known of that photo of Michel Foucault for some time, but only yesterday googled up that (the other) Foucault's pendulum in Paris has a big black cat statue sitting beside it.

thesundaygap said...

I think it's rather delightful that you can follow such meandering paths - it may be a great thing that the forest, so to speak, doesn't intimidate you.

Wrenna said...

I have failed a lot ;)