Heroes and Hostages: The Toll of the Bad Faith Narrative
Sagan, O. (2010) Heroes and Hostages: The Toll of the Bad Faith Narrative, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 25, , pp. 231-248,
Steeped as we are in a culture of therapy and emotionalism it may seem strange to us now to consider that until relatively recently, expressive writing was not encouraged among individuals who arguably are most in need of expressive outlet, those suffering from mental ill health. Indeed, there are examples of psychiatric patients instead being denied writing materials (Hornstein). Such denial however, apparently only succeeds in making the quest to produce autopathography (Couser ) more forceful and illness and trauma more demanding of expression. A bibliography of first-person narratives of madness compiled by Hornstein has now more than 700 titles listed. The propagation of such narratives extends into mainstream publishing, with an entire genre being steadily built up. Mainstream literature has also embraced stories about such stories with the creation of characters who, locked in psychiatric institutions, write out their story on unwanted paper-surplus to requirements which is then imprisoned under the floor-board (Barry ).