Modern Bedlam

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

It would be difficult to produce a dull book on severe mental illness. It has always been a subject of fascination: in the eighteenth century Bedlam, Britain’s oldest psychiatric hospital, would open its doors to allow the paying public to gawk at the ‘lunatics’ held there. With this book, and with more enlightened aims, Dennis […]

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Analyse This

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

‘What is madness?’ is a corker of a question, and it is perhaps unfair to be somewhat disappointed with Darian Leader’s attempt to answer it. Don’t get me wrong: the book has its merits. It contains many excellent clinical observations. Given the arcane liturgy of the Church of Lacan, I was particularly pleased by the […]

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The Spotless Mind

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Does a history of ‘memory’ even have a proper subject matter? After all, anything may be said to contain memories if it can be used to access information about something else by virtue of having a means of registering some prior contact. Even if we confine ourselves to psychology, the meaning of ‘memory’ is not […]

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Dangerous Minds

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

The Freud wars are a bit like the current clamour that surrounds religion. Rancorous and obsessive in their pursuit of one another, the protagonists have no interest in securing agreement on the issues by which they claim to be divided. Though each side incessantly repeats that it is dedicated to rational inquiry, there is no […]

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RLF - March