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The story of my madness | Emmanuel Carrère
The story of my madness | Emmanuel Carrère
Late in life a major depressive episode got Emmanuel Carrère hospitalised and diagnosed as bipolar. In some ways it made sense of his problems, but in the midst of it, everything was broken
You’re bipolar type 2: agitated without necessarily being euphoric, but sometimes also seductive, flirtatious, very sexual, outwardly very much alive, but inclined to make the type of decisions you regret the most, while being dead sure that they’re right and that you’ll never go back on them. Then after that you’re dead sure of the very opposite, you realise that you’ve done the worst thing possible, you try to fix it and do something even worse. You think one thing and then its opposite, you do one thing and then its opposite, in frightening succession. But the worst is that if you’re like me and are used to analysing yourself, once the diagnosis has been reached and the mood swings identified, you gain hindsight – only this hindsight is of little use. Or if it is, it’s just to see that no matter what you think, say or do, you can’t trust yourself because there are two of you in the same person, and those two are enemies.
in the definition of bipolar disorder, the pole opposite the dive into depression isn’t necessarily a state of spectacular euphoria and disinhibition that leads to social suicide and often to suicide itself, but just as frequently what psychiatrists call hypomania, which means in plain language that you act like a fool, but not to the same extent.
·theguardian.com·
The story of my madness | Emmanuel Carrère
The Punk-Prophet Philosophy of Michel Houellebecq — Justin E.H.Smith
The Punk-Prophet Philosophy of Michel Houellebecq — Justin E.H.Smith
The success of France’s most famous novelist has less to do with art and knowledge than anxiety and rock ’n’ roll.
One of Houellebecq’s more endearing juvenile enthusiasms is his passion for quantum mechanics, his admiration for the physicist Niels Bohr, and his belief that culture has not yet caught up with the mind-blowing implications of 20th-century theoretical physics. In a typical 1995 interview with Jean-Yves Jouannais and Christophe Duchâtelet, the author warns: “We’re moving towards disaster, guided by a false image of the world; and no one realizes.” The problem, Houellebecq thinks, is that “we’re stuck in a mechanistic and individualistic view of the world,” as a result of which, he predicts, “we will die.” Of course, many physicists and philosophers of science have themselves grappled with the problem of how to preserve what is sometimes called “the manifest image” of the world, while also accepting the reality of such puzzling phenomena as quantum superposition. Many believe our minds are simply so evolved as to keep us constantly convinced of the reality of midsized physical objects, of individual humans and animals, of all that is “manifest,” even if our best theory tells us it’s all in fact a lot more complicated than that. If failure to think in consistently quantum-theoretical terms leads to death, one would want to ask Houellebecq what it’s like to pass one’s time in a state of such profound enlightenment that even Bohr and Erwin Schrödinger only dipped into it as their work required. But of course Houellebecq is in no such state. He is not living each moment in full light of the implications of quantum theory, and his insistence that we must do so reminds us more of the common than of the exceptional quality of his mind.
·foreignpolicy.com·
The Punk-Prophet Philosophy of Michel Houellebecq — Justin E.H.Smith