For Madmen only


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Adventures of a Writer
By Evan Scott Schaffer

ISBN: 978-1-84747-338-7
Published: 2020
Pages: 207
Key Themes: autobiograhical fiction, schizoaffective disorder, suicidal depressions, paranoid delusions, manic psychosis, professional writing, recovery



This book is one young man’s look the world, or worlds which he experiences, internal and external, heavenly and earthly and everything imbetween. Shaffer’s lens allows the reader different angles from the norm, different interpretations of our everyday 21st century society.

He hopes to leave us all “touched by madness”, if not fully fledged, card carrying mad men.

About the Author

Evan Shaffer has suffered from schizoaffective disorder since high
school. Following several years of alternating suicidal depressions,
paranoid delusions, and manic psychosis, he found his voice as a
writer and wrote “For Madmen Only: Adventures of a Writer” – the
picturesque story of his experiences with mental illness and
development as a writer.

He recently received a Masters degree in
Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. However, he
is struggling to establish a career as a full-time writer.

Book Extract

Introduction: The Magic Theatre
Theatre 1: “Everybody is going to Dose”

Prepare to read the greatest book ever written – that is, except for The Da Vinci Code, of course Ulysses, or any book by Dr. Phil.

I’ve only had one “vision” in my life. What I mean by “vision” is dreaming while awake – entering a dream state in the absence of sleep. Actually, the vision was quite lame and inconsequential to me. However, the voice that preceded the vision, or waking dream, has meant the world to me.

I was lying on my bed at the time when I heard pop music. At first, I thought it was coming from the next room, but then I realised that the music was in my head. Then a female voice sang: “I am the earth. I love you for all the art you have done.”

At the time, I was experiencing the second half of a year-and-a-half long psychotic manic episode. The self-evident explanation of the musical voice is that “something” or, perhaps, “someone” was calling my mania art. I was taking a philosophy course, “The Aesthetic Formation of Experience,” at the time, so the allusion to Art is not surprising. The creativity and power of my manic imagination was Beauty itself. I was being praised as a schizophrenic artist of experience. As a thinker, my thoughts had the potential to transcend Shakespeare. (Shakespeare isn’t much of writer anyway as far as I’m concerned – at least not relative to other modern artistic geniuses).

I’ve been agonising over the last several years to write, since mania first inspired Jung, Christ, Nietzsche, Hitler, and Proust in me. This psychotic autobiography has been evolving in my Kafkaesque mind like a nuclear orgasm. My thoughts are ready to explode LSD sperm everywhere and ideally make me a famous writer of “genius” (who can write full-time and not have to work).

I quested for LSD like the Holy Grail as a high school senior. I was so miserable and desperate for self-transformation that acid seemed the only salvation. Unfortunately, “the doors to perception” were inaccessible. For whatever reasons, nobody would sell to me – maybe they hated me, were busy taking their own trips, or some even wanted to protect my questionable sanity.

I was painfully jealous of one high school drug-dealer, who was like a counter-culture Zen Buddhist sage and acid-king. He would trip almost daily. I desperately wanted to be friends with this Merry Prankster and his kin. I yearned to be “on the bus” with the Keseys, Cassidys, and Mountain Girls of my high school. But as the “soup Nazi” says in Seinfeld: “No soup for you!”

There was only one real conversation that I ever had with this dealer. He told me about the most incredible hallucination he’d ever had on acid. A giant fish had appeared and asked him for a cigarette. I’ve frequently wondered whether I was the fish asking him for LSD. Am I now the dealer selling the ‘pudding’ to my future audience?

Schizophrenia has afforded me more acid than I ever could have imagined. Now I plan to be the “‘Nigger’ Rabbit feeding my readers’ minds” with doses of mania. To whatever extent my idealism is deluded, “It really doesn’t matter whether I’m wrong or right,” as The Beatles sing. That’s how I feel about the epistemological relativity of mania. “Truth is beauty, and beauty truth.” I hope that this entertaining book has the psychedelic power to make would-be readers at least a little bit crazier than you were previously – if not quite converted madmen.

Enjoy the trip! Neither can you have your money nor minds back once you’ve read it. Yes, that is a challenge – from a monomaniacal schizophrenic writer. But if this chapter didn’t make your soul smile – even if grudgingly, chidingly, or confusedly – then don’t bother continuing. Because you are kings and queens here; and if a Fool can’t even make you smile, then what good is he?


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