The Reading Cure and the Madness of Big Pharma

By Appignanesi, Lisa | New Statesman (1996), January 26, 2009 | Go to article overview

The Reading Cure and the Madness of Big Pharma


Appignanesi, Lisa, New Statesman (1996)


Back from a late break and the inbox is filled to bursting, not only with the demands of work and life, but with hundreds of petitions, blog alerts and calls to march against the war in Gaza. Much as I know it's too hideously true, I cannot quite believe the horror the Israelis have unleashed in the brief span before Obama brings in a new order (we hope). So when I open an email bearing a letter from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, I am overjoyed. Sanity has broken through: "The Board calls for an immediate ceasefire, immediate negotiations between Israel and Hamas, and for lifting the economic blockade of Gaza, in order to allow the Gazan and Israeli people to live together in peace. There is no military solution, only a political one." Some 20 emails up, I learn the letter is a hoax. Tragic madness is once more enshrined.

I lunch with Andrew Franklin, chief honcho of Profile Books, and the philosopher/anthropologist Steven Lukes, whose Moral Relativism, the latest in the Big Ideas series I edit for them, is launched this month. Lukes' book probes the question of whether we really do have divergent views about good and evil, dignity and humiliation, or whether an underlying commonality exists. About Gaza, we agree there is no moral relativism and no argument. So we tell jokes, all of which seem to have divergent punchlines.

On to a lecture at Birkbeck by the American psychologist Gail Hornstein, who among much else maintains an online bibliography listing first-person narratives of madness from the 14th century on. These constitute an alternative history of psychiatry and its colonising classifications. As the bible of the profession, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, gears up for a new and even bigger edition, it sometimes seems as if all of human behaviour--except perhaps war--will fall on the side of that madness, which Big Pharma and the doctors can treat. It really would be nice to wake up in a brave new world where "social anxiety disorder" had re-emerged as shyness, treatable by friendship rather than antidepressant or anti-anxiety drugs; and Big Pharma had turned its attention to creating and treating illnesses such as WMS (war-mongering syndrome) or FBIM (financial bubble inducement mania). Bye-bye attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which all of us who email and surf the internet suffer from and is really a part of a 21st century condition called being human.

Later that evening, I go to a panel discussion on "the reading cure" held by The Reader Organisation in partnership with The Lancet. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Reading Cure and the Madness of Big Pharma
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.