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How Can I Speak of Madness? Narrative and Identity in Memoirs of ‘Mental Illness’

Stone, Brendan (2004) How Can I Speak of Madness? Narrative and Identity in Memoirs of ‘Mental Illness’. In: Narrative, Memory & Identity: Theoretical and Methodological Issues. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 49-57.

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      Abstract

      In this paper I examine some of the implications, possibilities, and dangers of
      addressing the experience of ‘madness’ or ‘mental illness’1 within
      autobiographical narrative: in particular, I ask how madness can be narrated, or
      spoken. I suggest that an attentive reading of narrative form, as the outworking
      and evidence of a way of knowing and thinking about the world, may reveal
      authorial attempts to manage and stretch the constraints inherent in
      conventional narrative’s tendency toward linearity and resolution, a tendency
      which is, arguably, inimical to the expression of madness. Insinuated in this
      process of working with form is a particular narrative mode of existence which
      has implications for the psychodynamics of living with mental distress. With
      reference to the work of Sarah Kofman, I propose the idea that a ‘writing
      without power’ may be a salutary way to address chronic distress, and to
      reformulate identity in the light of biographical disruption.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
      B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2009 16:24
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:13
      URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/4973

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