'So Don't You Lock up Something / That You Wanted to See Fly'. What Story for Asylum Psychiatry?
In a rather long piece which an exhibition catalog has called „catholic propaganda”(Busch & Maisak, 2013, p. 342), Guido Görres reflected on madness and art, using Kaulbach’s iconic 1835 drawing of asylum inmates (Das Narrenhaus) as pretext. Görres wrote of “this hospital of the human spirit (…), this charnel ground of the living, who like specters roam, wearing on their foreheads the faded and almost illegible traces of their former names.”1(1836, p. 9). Overdramatic prose, but unlikely to strike one as unprecedented. If anything, it has long been customary to exhibit a mix of fascination and revulsion when discussing the institutions which in the past two centuries at the same time sheltered and shattered those deemed mentally ill.
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