Depression and Narrative: Telling the Dark by Hilary Clark

By Hilary Clark

How the tale of melancholy will get informed in print, on monitor, and on-line.

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9 In their autobiographies, both Millett and Jamison attempt to interpret their experience of bipolar disorder—or, in the case of Millett, the accusation of it. ) Their constructions of this disorder are multifaceted, but I’d like to focus on the language each writer uses to characterize her struggle with the concept of mental illness. The metaphors Millett and Jamison use not 32 Debra Beilke only illuminate their differing conception of mental illness, but also shed light on how they view the source of a person’s core identity, or deepest sense of self.

A Mad People’s History of Madness, 271–83. Chapter 2 The Language of Madness Representing Bipolar Disorder in Kay Redfield Jamison’s AN UNQUIET MIND and Kate Millett’s THE LOONY-BIN TRIP Debra Beilke Which of my feelings are real? Which of the me’s is me? The wild, impulsive, chaotic, energetic, and crazy one? Or the shy, withdrawn, desperate, suicidal, doomed, and tired one? 1 How does an author construct a coherent narrative self out of the messy ebb and flow of existence? Which memories should one ignore and which should one stress?

In some narratives, the relationship between self and the broader “disorder,” “disease,” or “illness” also appears, but these terms introduce additional considerations and will not receive systematic analysis here. 26 Jennifer Radden 2. Symptoms include behavioral dispositions as well as psychological states, but this discussion is limited to examples of the latter. 3. Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe, 183–84 (emphases added). 4. Trosse, Life of the Reverend Mr. George Trosse, 30 (emphasis added).

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