Memory, Diaspora, Hysteria: Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace

by Marlene Goldman In her introduction to this collection, Julia Creet asserts that “migration is a condition of memory,” and cites Pierre Nora’s lament that “we create sites of memory because we not longer have ‘real environments of memory’: stable geographic, generation environments in which memory resides .  . .” Margaret Atwood’s historical novel Alias Grace is  basedContinue reading “Memory, Diaspora, Hysteria: Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace”

The sadness of impermanence – Mono no aware

Mono no aware (物の哀れ), literally “the pathos of things”, and also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常, mujō), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) (Wiki).  The beauty of impermanence is in allowing some optimism over theContinue reading “The sadness of impermanence – Mono no aware”

“His reality is so different from ours”

“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (moreContinue reading ““His reality is so different from ours””

Dementia – how does it feel to be uncertain about your wits in retirement?

King Lear is one of the greatest portrayals of ageing in Western literature. It explores the sense of uncertainty that can result from retirement, and the role-reversal that often comes with ageing, as the children become the parents. Throughout the play, Lear’s behaviour is changeable. At times he grows irrationally angry, while at others heContinue reading “Dementia – how does it feel to be uncertain about your wits in retirement?”

The Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (with Sharp Objects Excerpt)

Recently I read the chilling tale of a murderous mother in Sharp Objects and I was interested to see what I could find regarding the Munchausen syndrome. The Americans had the city of Kansas and the story of the Wizard of Oz (a bit different from the Wizard of Glass). The Germans had The Baron OfContinue reading “The Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (with Sharp Objects Excerpt)”

About mental illness and the importance of others

[Francis] Braceland believed that the causes of mental illness lay in interpersonal relations: “Men do not get mentally sick ‘out of the blue,’, so to speak … their illness or well-being depends on their relations with other men.” The role of the psychiatrist was therefore to teach people how to live together, in the broadestContinue reading “About mental illness and the importance of others”