Literature and Clinical Education
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This passage comes from Patrick McGrath’s recent novel Trauma, and it seems appropriate to begin our concluding chapter with a quote from a fictional psychiatrist (Charlie Weir) who is willing to confess that the processes of psychiatry involve much ‘art’ — a view that goes against the increasingly dominant, biomedical models of madness. We take issue with the bluff Dr Nash in Stanley and the Women, Kingsley Amis’ 1984 novel, who describes madness as an ‘artistic desert. Nothing of any general interest can be said about it’ (p. 185). Nash continues: ‘A fellow wants to put some madness into his novel because it is strange and frightening and quite popular. But if he bothers to go into the reality he finds it’s largely unsuitable, an unsuitable topic for his purposes’ (p. 185). Throughout this book, we have suggested that madness literature in fact has much of value, both for the literary world and for clinicians, and additionally for carers and people who experience madness themselves.
KeywordsHealth Humanity General Medical Council Mute Patient Autobiographical Narrative Boundary Violation
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