Madness and…Um…Civilization?

Really clever and incisive review of the new DSM-V, the manual of psychiatric disorders that serves as a kind of bizarre taxonomy of the human condition. Herein the author treats the text as a novel, with startlingly effective results. Highly recommended reading.

From The New Inquiry.

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8 Responses to “Madness and…Um…Civilization?”

  1. Jeb Says:

    I had an odd negative reaction to the review — did not make me want to read the book. Read Borges and Foucault on this years ago, could not detect anything new. The lists of things to read is long, time is short. Sort of left with the impression this is a debate that won’t move on (don’t keep up to date here)?

    Sort of left with the thought if I want the humor I can go snigger at the chapter headings to Bulwer’s Anthropometamorphosis or something to satisfy my nerdy interests and inclinations here or go back and read Borges, which is pleasingly terse.

  2. The Necromancer Says:

    @Jeb: No doubt. The DSM-V isn’t for reading. It’s actually a reference manual for psychiatrists and mental health professionals. That it’s being reviewed as a novel here is the irony, and a delicious one. What’s depressing is precisely that. Maybe more people getting into the psychiatric profession need to read Borges. They definitely need to read Foucault…

  3. Jeb Says:

    Seriously laughing here. I checked for a few minutes online when I first read your post and noticed that the book had a seriously elaborate spoof website dedicated to it.

    Perhaps one of the most seriously stupid mis-observations I have made, but boy do I find it funny.

  4. The Necromancer Says:

    @Jeb: :)

  5. Jeb Says:

    Dyslexic processing at speed is often highly amusing. You get used to having to ask stupid questions when things don’t make sense and face the chance of making a serious error and looking like a fool. Learning experience can be very uncomfortable. You have to learn to have no shame and the identifications people make I am use to and have no way of escaping.

    I comfort myself with the notion that the definition of a fool is a creature who knows no error.

  6. Jeb Says:

    I also make no attempt to hide what I am as so many folks like me live difficult lives with the issues it causes. I have no shame in revealing the full ‘horror’.

  7. Dennis the Vizsla Says:

    When I was a kid I once picked up my mom’s copy of the ICD-9 book and read through it, which gave me lots of material to worry about every time I got sick or had a headache …

  8. The Necromancer Says:

    @DtV: Yeah, “knowledge” is not always power…

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