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Antonia White and Manic-Depressive Illness$
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Patricia Moran

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474418218

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474418218.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

‘I am a schizophrene’: Narrative Identity, Affective Disorder and White’s Stories of Self

‘I am a schizophrene’: Narrative Identity, Affective Disorder and White’s Stories of Self

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter 2 ‘I am a schizophrene’: Narrative Identity, Affective Disorder and White’s Stories of Self
Source:
Antonia White and Manic-Depressive Illness
Author(s):

Patricia Moran

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474418218.003.0003

This chapter contextualises White’s stories of self within contemporary scholarship on narrative identity. White’s search for an exploration of her illness that would account for her psychic turmoil and inexplicable behaviour is consistent with the emphasis in such scholarship that narrative is a central aspect of identity formation. The possession of an identity narrative plays a key role in both public and private presentations of self. Yet the very principles an identity narrative embodies—principles of coherence, plausibility, causality, motivation and agency—conflict with the chaos and havoc created by severe bipolar disorder. The chapter explores how illness in general and manic-depression in particular destroyed White’s sense of a coherent self and motivated her to construct identity narratives through the master narratives of psychoanalysis and Catholicism.

Keywords:   Narrative Identity, Master Narratives, Affective Disorder, Schizophrenia

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