Neuromaniacs/neurophobes historicized

by , under Uncategorized

My growing list of neuromanias exceeds activities and conditions: neuromythology, neuroeconomics, neurocapitalism – and extends to literary genres. Neuromimesis, neuronovels, neuromemoirs were to be expected. Mind has been replaced by brain in these genres, especially in novels. The characters in these fictional works suffer from biochemical disturbances in the brain rather than more generalized socioeconomic or psychological alienation. Psychological disturbance is replaced by anatomico-physiological anomalies, or pathologies, capable of remedy only through pharmacological intervention. If you want a list of recent neuronovels, see Marco Roth’s excellent coverage, with accompanying titles, in his magazine N+1 (September 2009).

The development is neither good nor bad but predictable in late capitalism and has been developing for a long time. Writings by neurologically compromised authors, or those vivifying neurologically defective characters, is comparatively recent. Even a few generations ago, relatively few could get their work published, and the reading public (with a few exceptions) did not want to know. All this has changed now as part of the democratized view empathically allowing everyone to have a voice. The neuronovel, like neuromimesis and neuromythology, was destined to be born. Why shouldn’t our literature vivify neurological disorders and spell-binding syndromes? Here-here for Enduring Love, The Echomaker, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.