Katabatic Memoirs of Mental Illness

Rachel Falconer

in Hell in Contemporary Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780748617630
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651733 | DOI:
Katabatic Memoirs of Mental Illness

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This chapter is concerned with the autobiographical or semi-autobiographical accounts of mental illness written by recovered writers/patients, who frame their experiences of mental illness within the narrative structure of a descent into and a return from Hell. These stories present very different accounts of the experience than those of the leading theorists of madness, and also show that the return from Hell does not need to be a matter of choice between postmodern self-doubt and Cartesian self-certainty. The chapter also discusses the classical descent narrative.

Keywords: mental illness; autobiography; semi-autobiography; theorists of madness; postmodern self-doubt; Cartesian self-certainty; classical descent narrative

Chapter.  14422 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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