A mad, mad world

Delusions are among the most striking features of some forms of serious mental illness. In such cases, claims about reality that seem quite bizarre to others are held on to with remarkable tenacity. Those in their grip are impervious to the ordinary correctives that lead the rest of us to modify or abandon false beliefs. … Read more

The Whole World Is a Work of Art: On Jonathan Bate’s “Mad About Shakespeare”

SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 A FEW YEARS AGO, I ran a reading group at a local charity in Bristol that supported men and women who had experienced addiction or other mental health challenges, or who had spent time in prison. We read short pieces that we could share aloud in the group, including an extract from … Read more

Mad man made good

In James Patterson’s thriller Jack and Jill (1996), a madman stalking a child in a branch of Toys “R” Us pauses to reflect on the in-store Muzak: The overhead speakers were playing the chain’s irritating and moronic theme song: “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid.” Over and over and over, … Read more