Truth in Madness


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The story of Phillipe Pinel father of modern psychiatry

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Madness, Reason, and Truth

We can order this Usually dispatched within 1 week. Quantity Add to basket. This item has been added to your basket View basket Checkout. Meet Malek Khalil.

Passion and Delirium

In his mids, Malek is a brilliant reporter with decades of experience in the field. If there has been a war, natural disaster or political crisis, Malek has been there and will be there. But the years of conflict reporting have taken their toll and Malek is slowly unravelling. His colleagues, Neeka and Justin, have noticed a change in him. Neeka should know, she has been his producer for decades and knows him better than he knows himself. Justin the cameraman has shot his material for just as long.

Together they make a formidable team. But they are only as strong as each other - and Malek is fast going down the rabbit hole. Born a Muslim but an atheist to his core, Malek undertakes a voyage that takes him around the world and back in time to ancient Babylon as he finds himself arguing with a God in whom he doesn't believe. The novel takes place throughout Middle East, South Asia and London where the backdrop of war, religion, political skullduggery and love play out to take the reader on a journey through some of the most dangerous parts of modern culture and the ancient world.

Added to basket. Big Sky. Kate Atkinson. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Gail Honeyman. Good Omens. Saved from lunacy. She never fell through, never went, as he did, all the way insane. It was either one or the other. He always knew, she always made him feel, told him, it was his to do. He gave her bad feelings, put thoughts in her head, could save her or make her insane.

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And he thought then of the two of them together, he a child, and his mother holding and rocking him, her long chestnut hair falling softly on his shoulder. A man entered his cell and woke him. It was hard at first to break out of the dream, especially the end part. The man looked like a barber, short-jacketed, striped pants, strip of linen in his hand. The jailer, standing behind the man, ordered Lalladiere to sit on the stool in his cell.

So, it will happen today. He knew it now, today is the end. He sat quietly, listening to the clicking of the scissors behind his head. There was a clutching panic in his chest, then grief for himself verging on tears, and then a hollow sense of resignation. Sitting alone afterward, he tried to imagine what death would be like, wondered if there really could be bliss, as they said.

How did it feel, what did bliss contain? He then considered extinction, total extinction, and thought about nothingness, no consciousness. He remembered, though it was now hard to do so, the absolute nothingness in his mind he had known before. An hour later, the tumbrel came to the front of the Conciergerie and he, together with another man and a woman, were pushed by three soldiers inside.

The man, older than Lalladiere, looked like a petty official and the woman, also older, looked fairly prosperous wearing a satin dress and shawl. He noticed fewer spectators, or even stragglers, standing or walking along the street, and wondered whether commerce had been dropping off or perhaps executions were not quite the high sport as before. Lalladiere looked carefully at the faces of people they passed, the tight brows and jutting jaws of those who were scornful and angry, drawn cheeks and staring eyes of the wistful, puffed up cheeks and quivering mouths of the eager and excited.

Still seeing anew the unnoticed world around, he followed the windows of the storefronts they were passing.

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He saw carefully rolled bolts of fabric in one, a cobbler tapping a single shoe in dim light inside another, a dressmaker energetically sewing the thin hem of a dress, and cooling rows untended of lined-up crisp crusted loaves of bread. When they came abreast of number where Robespierre lived, he looked up at the shuttered second floor window, and shook his head both with anger and regret. Robespierre and the others had also died in vain. He glanced at his companions in the tumbrel, the petty official was pale, sweating despite the coolness of the day, and the well-dressed woman rocked in a corner, sobbing.

Not far from the entryway, inside the large expanse, he thought he saw her curls and bonnet. But as the tumbrel moved nearer he realized he was mistaken. When they came to the scaffold of the guillotine, he saw in a nearby grouping the lean figure of Dr. Pinel turned slightly aside and speaking vigorously with a man standing next to him.

The man, it appeared, was a government official although Lalladiere did not recognize him. The tumbrel stopped. Pinel abruptly discontinued his entreaties and turned toward it. Then he saw Genevieve. She was standing together with her father amidst the crowd a short distance behind Dr. Her face was bloated with crying, her mouth set in a grimace of unbearable pain. Lalladiere thought he could see, despite the distance, a look of enormous fear in her eyes. She saw him. And realizing he was looking at her, her expression changed, her eyes glistened—he could see them—with a feeling of love.

She was forming words with her mouth, the same, he was sure, as what she showed in her eyes. But he could neither hear nor actually know.

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As he fearfully mounted the scaffold, he thought about his dreams of the night before. It came from love, protecting her from the salt field, the abyss, lunacy. She or me, it was she or me, the—my—giving up of heart and mind. The executioner strapped him to the flat board and slid him face down between the supports of the guillotine. As she got up from the table, he knew she had stopped talking to the air. She walked over to the shadowy man in the corridor, put her arm under his, and together they left the stone building, which now resembled an asylum for the insane.

Still frozen on the floor, Lalladiere watched them leave. His mother turned around to look at him and her face was that of Genevieve. He woke, but this time more slowly than before. The events of the dream were vivid in his mind.

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