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Which came first, the condition or the drug?

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Bipolar Disorder, 7 October 2010

Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder 
by David Healy.
Johns Hopkins, 296 pp., £16.50, May 2008, 978 0 8018 8822 9
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... murder earlier this year. How did we come to this? In Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder, David Healy goes back to the Greeks and Romans in search of an explanation. There are good reasons for this. Very few people had heard of bipolar disorder before 1980, when it was introduced in the DSM-III – the diagnostic manual of the American ...


Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: The realities of depression, 11 July 2002

La Fatigue d’être soi: Dépression et société 
by Alain Ehrenberg.
Odile Jacob, 414 pp., €8.35, August 2001, 2 7381 0859 8
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Comment la Dépression est devenue une épidémie 
by Philippe Pignarre.
Découverte, 92 pp., €14.48, September 2001, 2 7071 3517 8
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... books by Alain Ehrenberg and Philippe Pignarre, along with a third, published a few years ago by David Healy,* forcefully underscore the incongruous fact that depression was never so prevalent as it has been since the introduction of antidepressants. It has always been with us, though it went by other names and sometimes assumed different ...

Monster Doss House

Iain Sinclair, 24 November 1988

The Grass Arena 
by John Healy.
Faber, 194 pp., £9.95, October 1988, 0 571 15170 1
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... it is a survivalist world, bleak and uncompromising – the world of competitive chess. John Healy arrived there, without papers or proof of identity, a drowning man coming up for the last time. It was his only way of escaping from the slow-motion suicide of alcoholism, and he took it with manic relish. His book, The Grass Arena, is a devastating ...

Aunts and Uncles

Michael Hofmann, 19 November 1992

A Feast in the Garden 
by George Konrad, translated by Imre Goldstein.
Faber, 394 pp., £14.99, October 1992, 0 571 16623 7
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Wartime Lies 
by Louis Begley.
Picador, 198 pp., £5.99, August 1992, 0 330 32099 8
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by Carmelo Samona, translated by Linda Lappin.
Carcanet, 131 pp., £13.95, August 1992, 0 85635 990 4
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by Thomas Healy.
Polygon, 161 pp., £7.95, July 1992, 0 7486 6121 2
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... for thirty pages reluctant to let his book go, even to hand it over to his fictional alter ego, David Kobra. He has a sub-Kunderesque divagation on his ‘philosophy of ecstasy’ before going on to the ownership of property – descriptions of remote and magnificent real estate are my hot tip for fiction-writers in this last decade of the ...


Edward Pearce, 22 October 1992

by Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie.
Hutchinson, 589 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 09 173549 1
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... a lethargic, affable, fat Lord Rosebery. They talk newspapers – the Observer is a good paper, David Astor ‘has flair. It’s not all done by luck’; ancient scandal – a lady-in-waiting of Queen Victoria thought to have been pregnant and a virgin; and best of all, Church politics: ‘Do you go to church?’ he asked. ‘Oh, Church of England. I see ...


Daniel Finn: Ireland’s Election, 17 March 2011

... left-wing forums with a couple of dozen other stalwarts to listen to them – the likes of Séamus Healy, Richard Boyd Barrett and Thomas Pringle, all now catapulted into the Dáil with a mandate to disturb the political peace. While the Fianna Fáil aristocracy were punching their cards at local meetings and stealthily ascending the party ladder, these ...

Scientific Antlers

Steven Shapin: Fraud in the Lab, 4 March 1999

The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science and Character 
by Daniel Kevles.
Norton, 509 pp., £21, October 1998, 0 393 04103 4
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... but esoteric science. The part of Bill Clinton is here played by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist David Baltimore and the junior female colleague is not Monica Lewinsky but a Japanese-Brazilian-American immunologist named Thereza Imanishi-Kari. Their relations are not sexual but wholly collegial. The out-of-control independent counsel is not Kenneth Starr but ...

O brambles, chain me too

Tom Paulin: Life and Vowels of Andrew Marvell, 25 November 1999

World Enough and Time: The Life of Andrew Marvell 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 294 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 316 64863 9
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Marvell and Liberty 
edited by Warren Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis.
Macmillan, 365 pp., £47.50, July 1999, 0 333 72585 9
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Andrew Marvell 
edited by Thomas Healy.
Longman, 212 pp., £12.99, September 1998, 0 582 21910 8
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... is reproduced on the dust-jacket of Marvell and Liberty, a collection of essays which, like David Norbrook’s recent Writing the English Republic, chimes with the discontent that a significant percentage of British people now feels about the monarchy. That sense of friendship, of a shared and living republican culture, is present in Melville’s many ...

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