Schizophrenia Essays

Schizophrenia Essays-69
It could be argued that a collection of essays is more vulnerable than fiction—and you write about the stigma of mental illness, and the carefully curated self-image you presented through clothes, or makeup.WANG Completely, and much of that came from having actually started almost primarily as a visual artist.Both are ways to get through a very difficult experience, and they’re also ways to remember it.

It could be argued that a collection of essays is more vulnerable than fiction—and you write about the stigma of mental illness, and the carefully curated self-image you presented through clothes, or makeup.WANG Completely, and much of that came from having actually started almost primarily as a visual artist.Both are ways to get through a very difficult experience, and they’re also ways to remember it.

I think those were some of the challenges of this book—to not only include the cut-and-dried but to capture some of the more nuanced emotions and sensations as well.

INTERVIEWER In the essay L’Appel du Vide” (originally published on Hazlitt in different form), you write about Francesca Woodman and how her friend said that she was always “single-mindedly thinking about photography,” and that every moment of her life “was in preparation for a photograph,” and then you ask yourself, “Why not, as a writer, create essays in which I myself appear?

You’re writing against powerful cultural and social narratives.

And, maybe inevitably, the book has a didactic component. Is there a difference audience for this book than there was for ? It varies depending on what I’m trying to get across with each essay.

What the writer’s confused state means is not beside the point, because it is the point.

I am in here, somewhere: .” But it is also, I have been taking these photographs as I am dead, and then I look back at these photographs to re-experience what it was like, as someone who experienced themselves as a dead person. It’s very much the same experience, just one is visual and one is more verbal.I actually had to remind myself, while working on include the visceral details.For me, in a lot of ways, there’s a lot more emotional truth to writing fiction—as opposed to other kinds of truths.The idea of being someone who took self-portraits was a big part of my life, and influences like Francesca Woodman or Cindy Sherman were big to me when I was a teenager or in my early twenties.I had a lot of friends who were also visual artists, and also used themselves as subject matter, because you are always there as a model.The first essay in this book, “Diagnosis,” is very much an essay that’s conscious of who the audience might be.So that was actually an essay that came fairly late in the writing of the book.When I transitioned to being a writer, for a long time, I wanted to rebel against that.When came out, it really bothered me when people would ask me, How much of this book is about you?You write about the photographs as being a sort of “bridge” or “tools for my well self to re-experience the loss.” You’re using nonfiction to make sense of states that make you lose your sense of reality, and sometimes your very notion of self.WANG I think part of what I was trying to get across is the parallel between writing through your story using words, and getting through the story using photography.

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