The General Paralysis of Sanity
Louise M. HartISBN: 9781849919555;
A reference to a phrase in James Joyce's Ulysses, this novella is the story of a young man's relapse into psychosis. The reader embarks on a journey beyond consciousness, into the realm of thought and fantasy. For, writer Louise M. Hart describes, not only the desperately cruel reality of her character's experiences, but his thought processes as he reacts to puzzling and frightening symptoms of his mental health problem. Paralleled with this and interrelated, is the story of a psychiatric nurse who works on the hospital ward, where the central character becomes a patient. Her apparent sanity masks an inner life based on delusion and negativity. The book not only is an indictment of the mental health system, but also challenges conventional thinking about the nature of madness and sanity and ultimately questions the validity of widely believed notions about the objectivity of reality.