Joy Sorman: her year among the "mad"

The times have gone mad, it is understood.Pandemic, climate change, buffoon dictators ...To try to understand what we are going through, the best is perhaps to go to the heart of the reactor, where the madness is lodged and radiates: in psychiatric hospitals.Writers have ventured there a lot lately.Think of Emmanuel Carrère who, in "Yoga", told of his stay at Sainte-Anne.

Joy Sorman, she went there of her own free will, as an observer.For a few years, she has immersed herself in places like the Gare du Nord or a bedding company to restore the piece of reality they contain., for a year, she slipped between the walls of two psychiatric units which, in her book, merge into one: pavilion 4B.

A discreet presence, the author disappears behind the words of those she meets: "crazy people", doctors, nurses and nursing assistants, this community which shares an enclosed space on which "floats in soft sheets, (...) a smell of cold sauce and worry, acrid, insistent, a smell of confinement ”.

Franck the werewolf and Maria the witch

"The psychiatric hospital is an adventure of language" and by her writing, clear and precise, Joy Sorman puts all these stories at the same level, the students at the same dignity.There is Franck who takes himself for a werewolf; Maria, the witch with the crystal voice; Barnabas, the Buddhist nurse; Robert, the dean who will never leave the hospital Their words draw up a definitive diagnosis: psychiatry is seriously ill, plagued by a sprawling administration, suffocated by the lack of means, dehumanized by an overflow of protocols, stupefied by over-medicalization.

Posted Date: 2021-03-20

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