Lost minds : Sedgwick, Laing and the politics of mental illness

Proctor, Hannah (2016) Lost minds : Sedgwick, Laing and the politics of mental illness. Radical Philosophy, 197. pp. 36-48.

[thumbnail of Proctor-RP-2020-Lost-minds-Sedgwick-Laing-and-the-politics-of-mental]
Preview
Text (Proctor-RP-2020-Lost-minds-Sedgwick-Laing-and-the-politics-of-mental)
Proctor_RP_2020_Lost_minds_Sedgwick_Laing_and_the_politics_of_mental.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 logo

Download (269kB)| Preview

    Abstract

    In Memoirs of a Revolutionary Victor Serge describes the first decade of Soviet rule as displaying 'the obscure early stages of a psychosis', the symptoms of which became increasingly pronounced as time wore on and the defeats and corpses piled ever higher. The experience of living through the twenty-year period from the October Revolution of 1917 to the Stalinist purges (which reached their apex in 1937) he declares 'must be a psychological phenomenon unique in history'. At various moments in the memoir the reader catches a glimpse of Serge's wife Liuba Russakova, formerly Lenin's stenographer, who experienced a severe mental breakdown as a result of the paranoid and persecutory atmosphere in Soviet Moscow.