The General Paralysis Of Sanity


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Louise M Hart

ISBN: 978-1-84991-885-5
Published: 2013
Pages: 79
Key Themes: Mental Health, Novella, Psychosis


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.

About the Author

Louise was born in Northumberland in 1968. In 1971, she moved to Coventry and henceforth, began a relationship with the City, which was both inspirational and disparaging. Easing her difficult school years, she discovered a love of creative writing and a facility for the study of literature. Against the odds, she progressed to attending university, where she became a popular, but somewhat confused student.

Louise’s student career terminated before she had completed the final year of her degree in a cloud of depression and paranoid ideas. After a short period taking prescribed medication, during which she attended a day hospital and subsequently, a daycentre for young people recovering from mental health problems, she became an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital. Thus, began Louise’s second career, as a revolving door patient.

Passed back and forth from hospital wards to daycentres, Louise spent many years in despair and frustration. Writing poetry became one of her few outlets for self-expression and she never completely lost sight of her ambition to one day have her writing published. During periods of improved mental health, she worked in social care, but could never quite escape the chains of the mental health system.

In 2006, Louise moved to Scotland. Despite a shaky start, she completed her first novel, “The General Paralysis of Sanity,” which is to be published by Chipmunka, a collection of poetry and currently, is writing a children’s novel, which, in her own words “is for the enjoyment of children of all ages.”

Book Extract

They call me Jude in here, but my name is Cat-Hater. Mother is the matron of all that I survey.
I tried to look into her eyes, but she turned away. Maybe, she sees the evil. My only other
visitor has been Che; he bought me a newspaper, which I couldn’t read. My mental illiteracy is
a consequence of spiritual greed, greed because I used to read too much. He looked at his
most butch. I wanted to impress him by trying to undress him, but all I did was tell him that
materialism sucks.
Che told me that the American president is coming over here. I said that the president should
visit this nut house and stay away from the beer. I wanted to tell him about the real me, but
was scared that he already knew what I was about to say. So I tried to hide my thoughts
beneath a blanket of external Okays. Due to its weight, the blanket dissolved. I could not
concentrate, only hearing beliefs which I had started to hate, like how revolution is brewing in
the streets and how I should get better soon in order to participate. I dare not tell him that the
revolution has already arrived; mind is my comrade and the cosmos my bride.
I realised today that my life is a post-modern tragedy. I have no skin, I have no body to hide
within, only mind. Corporeal dysmorphia is a belligerent ally. When I was born, I roared like a
dying lion. I am no lion, but I am dying; each piece of me grinding down the seconds of time I
spend pretending to be alive. There is no cure for me, only suffering. The older I become the
more aware I am of the daylight and the dark, the fire and the water, the summer breeze and
the winter storm. This awareness fills my waking hours with dreams in which only I believe.
But, even worse is the pain of knowing, but being unheard. The ears of fear mute my words.
Knowing is a sin in the world of the material, the error which they call reality. Punishment
begins from day one.
I was ripped from her womb, torn apart like ripe fruit by the hands of gluttons and directed to
the light. The light shone not upon my soma, but through the pores of my thoughts. And the
hands bit into my consciousness, which grabbed my jaundiced flesh; like a joint of pork, those
around me consumed me. Mother and Father sliced me into pieces and handed me to doctors
who never committed me to love and care. I may have lived in my parental home, but I was
never all there.
Born into a perceptual misconception, echoing within me was an endless tunnel of thought
constructing my inner self; the outer became an imprint of everyone who crossed my path, the
inner a consequence of God having a laugh. Who is to blame? All are responsible, for bitter am
I. But, I would rather keep revenge in my head than leave someone dead.
The reason why I am so disliked in the hospital is that I speak truth. Not the Truth, but truth-initself.
Truth hurts; I am the realisation of the hurting self. My thoughts have been broken
bilateralism is a wank. My hospital bed has become my think tank. When happy I am sad,
when they think I am sane I am really mad. My words hang falsely in the air, their truthfulness
denied by those who pretend to care. Who is testing me? Who takes responsibility for my
plight? I denied responsibility, the day they took my rights from me. They placed my rights in a
locked drawer with my medical notes and when they observe me writing, laugh as though I am
a joke. They will laugh on the other side of their faces when I achieve the revenge of the pen. I
doubt that they will even recognise themselves when they read about “they” and “them.” One
day the world will see that no fucker laughs at me.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.