Currently streaming on BBC Radio 4 is a programme entitled “Writing Madness” that explores the links between modern psychiatric thought and great works of fiction.
Contributors include psychotherapist and essayist Adam Philips, leading psychiatrist Simon Wessely, cultural historian Lisa Appignanesi and Chris Thompson, psychiatrist and medical director of The Priory.
The website offers us a taste of the programme:
How did modern literary and psychiatric ideas meet and how did each shape the other? Do these heroines show literature of the period to be a critical – and even emancipating – force…or is fiction really medicine’s stooge? Novels on the couch include Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway….interestingly with both novels there’s a tendency to base the heroines on real people – Nicole Diver is based on the case history of Fitzgerald’s own wife Zelda, whereas Woolf’s Mrs.Dalloway comes very close in literary terms to…
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