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Document Details :
Title: 'Iedere lezer is geen psychiater'
Subtitle: De literaire receptie van 'Jan Arends' (1972-1979) in het licht van de antipsychiatrie
Author(s): DE CLEENE, Arnout
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 55 Issue: 1 Date: 2013
As is commonly acknowledged, the success -oof the literary work of the Dutch ‘author and psychiatric patient’ Jan Arends (1925-1974) in the 1970s benefited from the anti-psychiatric current that pervaded medical, social and cultural life in Europe at that time. In this article, the causal relation between the literary reception of Arends and anti-psychiatry is studied in detail from a Foucauldian, discourse-analytical point of view. Not only does the anti-psychiatric work of Laing and Foudraine lean heavily on a literary foundation; the literary discourse itself is permeated by the anti-psychiatric foregrounding of the autobiographical approach of texts and the pivotal role the author as a unified and exemplary subject plays therein. As a matter of fact, the structural coupling between the two discourses is guaranteed by the functioning of the concept of autobiography as an intermediary. The striking discursive rise, success and demise of Arends in a period of no more than ten years, can thus be explained by tracing the evolution of the complex functional interaction of the literary and (anti-)psychiatric discourse.