it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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semi-detatched in our suburbanness, we're living in these hard times

Book report #65: Mark Vonnegut, The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity

Originally published in 1975, The Eden Express is Dr. Vonnegut's first-person recollection of commune like of a farm in British Columbia in the early 1970s, and how he went mad, and what going mad was like. In the 2002 afterword to the book, he points out that what happened to him would now be considered an episode of manic depression; at the time it was schizophrenia, and a life sentence.

Except for the part where he got better, and lived to tell the tale.

It remains a fascinating book, which manages to be unflinching, poignant, humane, and dryly funny--obviously qualities that run in the family--and full of items of tremendous interest to anybody interested in the period, the disease, or both. Of most utility to me, because of the sorts of things that are hobbyhorses of my own, are some throwaway comments--Vonnegut's "grace addiction" in earlier life, his description of the disoragnized thinking, the ideations of schizophrenic patterning, and so forth.

Also, the level of snark is really high. Dr. Vonnegut on the then-current idea that schizophrenia was a product of repressed homosexuality: "Food was horrible to me too*, but I have yet to hear anyone say that schizophrenia is a repressed fear of food."

Go, Mark.

And now, I really ought to see if I can fall asleep yet.

*(Context: in addition to sex being horrible to him, not in addition to homosexuality being horrible to him)
Tags: 100 book reports

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