- 25,00 kr
This dissertation explores the ways in which bipolar narratives attempt to compensate for the chaos inherent in the illness they document. After defining “the bipolar story” as it appears in the texts, the project examines 20 corpus texts in detail, identifying how they cohere as a sub-genre and pointing out the primary features and themes of the group. My analysis then considers how, in seeking to define and describe bipolar disorder, bipolar narratives encounter rhetorical problems with credibility and textual problems involving causation, coherence, and closure. These problems are partly a result of the texts’ ongoing negotiation of the paradox of mental illness (that people with severe mental illness are simultaneously “too crazy” to be believed and “not crazy enough” to be reliable). The project looks at two specific strategies, framing and embedding, used by the texts to offset the disruptive power of the bipolar story. Close attention to both the texts and the bipolar story itself promises to shed light on a sub-genre of illness narratives that is rapidly growing but not well understood.