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Very good portrayals of damaged psyche

ErikDentremont

New Member
When some authors decide to write a character with a mental illness or personality disorder, I've found that it seems all too easy for cliche and stereotype to put in an unwanted appearance. Too many just don't put the research in to making their character's struggles real.
If I am going to read about such a character, I want that character's story to be believable, want to learn what makes that character's mind operate so differently. I don't expect an expert clinician's essay on that particular illness, but I would like it if authors would do more than surface research.
Can anyone suggest fiction titles, of any genre, where they feel the author has done a particularly impressive job of writing a character who has a mental illness or neurological difference?
 

DATo

Active Member
I think a very good example of what you are looking for can be found in Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From The Underground. The novel is told in first-person-dialogue (the narrator often addresses the reader directly) by a man who is obviously deranged and suffering from numerous neurosis. The reader can draw his own conclusions from what the narrator says which includes statements which are often contradictory. The narrator also vacillates between extreme egotism to abject personal loathing.

Dostoyevsky was a master at getting to the bottom of psychological problems and describing them in a manner in which the reader finds to be totally believable. Dostoyevsky was also a master of observation and much of his description is based upon personal experience with real-life subject that he writes about.
 

the bibliophile

New Member
I think a very good example of what you are looking for can be found in Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From The Underground. The novel is told in first-person-dialogue (the narrator often addresses the reader directly) by a man who is obviously deranged and suffering from numerous neurosis. The reader can draw his own conclusions from what the narrator says which includes statements which are often contradictory. The narrator also vacillates between extreme egotism to abject personal loathing.

Dostoyevsky was a master at getting to the bottom of psychological problems and describing them in a manner in which the reader finds to be totally believable. Dostoyevsky was also a master of observation and much of his description is based upon personal experience with real-life subject that he writes about.
How could I forget about the underground man. Many of Dostoevsky's characters are flawed in some way, either mental illness or a gambling addiction. he is the master of showing the effects of extremes on the human personality.
 
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