On these upper floors, the corners are all curved. No hard edges to hurt yourself on. The curved surfaces make you feel as if you’re going mad anyway. Losing definition. Losing purchase.
The drugs make you confused. The nurses make you dependant. The building makes you ill. Everything works to make you the proper denizen of the madhouse. Sometimes, James Scudamore’s Wreaking is a little too exhaustive and could be subtitled, “Everything I Know About UK Mental Institutions Since The Victorian Age”. But it’s undeniably well-written, funny, a complex metaphor for the condition of the NHS, and full of good stuff. This, for instance:
Sometimes he spends time with a medical dictionary trying to label his own disorders. Apophenia is one. At various other times he’s been tempted by bipolarity, dementia, hypomania, schizophrenia, syllogomania. He wonders sometimes which of the old Victorian diagnoses he might be awarded if he were in their shoes. Uncontrolled Passion. Metaphysical Speculation. Mortified Pride.
Metaphysical Speculation, I think everyone here can own up to that.