01 January 2009


by Elaine Showalter

Non-fiction, which I almost never read, but this one's good. She discusses recent hysterical phenomena (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, recovered memories of childhood abuse, and alien abduction) and gives reasons for their rising popularity. She seems to conclude that repressed or unconscious feelings/fixations/psychoses/whatever tend to manifest themselves differently depending on what's happening socially, and that an increase in the diagnosis of these medical and psychological disorders is due, at least partially, to media coverage of new and interesting syndromes. A very good read, mostly because it's informative but not judgmental or flippant.

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