Saturday, March 28, 2009


My reason for starting this blog is fundamentally a love of all things literary. I want to write about this love, discuss it and bring it to the open air. Another reason for starting a blog is that I have recently had a book published. It is a very exciting time for me. I have been writing for years, and have been simply binding my books in leather and leaving them on my bookshelf in my study. It's been great to show off when friends come over, but I have to say I had been a bit remiss to not send things away. I have also been engaged in academic writing, doing a Masters, and now doing a PhD, but not really getting things published. Except for one exception - a philosophy article published in a journal called Cogito.

My wife would see a change to that reticence. She very much encouraged me to start submitting things. I started sending poems initially. I got my first published poem in a journal called Unusual Work quite early on in this sending away process. A year later I had some more poems accepted by them. My poetry to this point seems to be going well. I have two poems out in Stylus, and another poem in verb-ate-him.

I thought I would also send out some of the books I had written. Initially there wasn't much luck, but then a publisher by the name of Chipmunka Publishing picked up a diary I had kept in 1998. What made this diary interesting is that at the time I was experiencing a schizophrenic episode.

I have subsequently recovered from this time in my life, but left a very interesting literary document. I hope this book shows what can be achieved after a period of mental illness has passed.

A little plug for my book at this point. The title is 'Diary of a Schizophrenic' - you can get a copy by going to following link, which is Chipmunka's bookshop:

The book is currently an e-book, but will become a paperback in the future. The book costs five pounds. In it you will find the strange irrationalities of the schizophrenic mind. But surprisingly the book is quite clearly written - despite the experience I was having. The work is full of references to writers, poets, philosophers and artists. There are lengthy discussions of Ludwig Wittgenstein, William Blake, the Pre-Raphealites, Homer, Virgil, T.S. Eliot, and a whole range of other creative artists. I think this is what makes this diary unique. Others have famously kept journals through psychotic episodes - Daniel Schreber and Vaslav Nijinsky come to mind. Schreber's work was famously analysed by Freud, and is far more psychotic, I believe, than my work. Nijinsky, the famous dancer, also suffered from schizophrenia. During the initial stages of his psychosis he kept a diary, a document which was also very psychotic. Nijinsky also alluded to literature and philosophy in his diary, but I believe not to the extent Diary of a Schizophrenic does.

But of course, my literary pre-occupations go further than those found in psychosis. My academic work and my poetry have been important in keeping my feet on the ground, and I can report I have been quite symptom free for a number of years.

Anyway I hope you enjoy this blog and its adventures into the literary. Speak to you again soon.

1 comment:

Gabe said...

Congrats! Looking forward to reading...