Edited By Josefa Ros Velasco
8 Broken Promise: Depression as Ex-Gifted Girl Identity in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation (Nora Augustine (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill))
8 Broken Promise: Depression as Ex-Gifted Girl Identity in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Few scholars of either depression or literature can long abide in those pursuits without encountering some form of Mad Genius mythology (as I call it). This mythology comprises a broad set of cultural and theoretical discourses positing an essential link between various states of mental disorder and various mental gifts. Definitions of both madness and genius vary widely, thus Mad Genius investigators never lack for new adaptations of this mythology to pursue. Nor has the increasing medicalization of American psychiatry weakened Mad Genius’s credibility; science instead promises ever-new means for operationalizing mental traits and measuring their relationships. Is there a real connection between madness and genius? The allure of this hypothesis is evident in the multitude of studies that try to prove it, yet such research rarely delves deeply into why this should be so alluring (to whom) or what results from humans’ attachments to Mad Genius. Moreover, no studies known to me have drawn from self-referential writing by persons diagnosed with mental illness to analyze the effects of Mad Genius mythology on their stories. The enduring popularity of Mad Genius indeed cannot be explained by science alone. To understand what this mythology means to real people who live with mental illness—as well as those who identify as gifted—we ought to listen for its echoes in their...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.