"May all Be Shattered into God": Mary Barnes and her journey through madness in Kingsley Hall

Chapman, A. (2020) "May all Be Shattered into God": Mary Barnes and her journey through madness in Kingsley Hall. Journal of Medical Humanities, 41(2), pp. 207-228. (doi: 10.1007/s10912-018-9517-1) (PMID:29860647)

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Contributing to renewed scholarly interest in R. D. Laing and his circle, and in the radical therapeutic community of Kingsley Hall, London (1965-1970), this article offers the first article-length reading of Mary Barnes’ and Joseph Berke’s Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey through Madness. This text offers views of anti-psychiatry ‘on the ground’ that critique the 1960s utopianism of Laing’s championing of madness as a metanoic, quasi-psychedelic voyage. Barnes’ story, too, reveals tensions within the anti-psychiatric movement. Moving beyond existing criticism of the text, Barnes, it is argued here, emerges as far more than an exemplary patient, victim or anti-psychiatric puppet. Particular attention is paid in this reading of Two Accounts to the following: the ways in which the spiritually inclined Barnes and the psychoanalytic Berke differ in this dual narrative text; the ways in which each differs from Laing; the metaphor of the journey; and the setting of Barnes’ story in the often conflicted, experimental household of Kingsley Hall.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: Wellcome Trust 108826/Z/15/Z.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chapman, Dr Adrian
Authors: Chapman, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Journal of Medical Humanities
ISSN (Online):1573-3645
Published Online:02 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Journal of Medical Humanities 41(2): 207-228
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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