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They come alive; we can see them, and we believe them. Second, we are in on her thoughts — in one scene, the child narrator falls into a grave — and the reader buys it until the narrator reveals, on the next page, that she only imagined this. She makes us part of her daydream. Readers may doubt whether this school really existed, just as some doubt the information that Napoleon was epileptic. And yet we go along with the tale, we want to believe it; I have yet to Google any of this information.

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We grant a child narrator some leeway. Until children pass through the elementary grades, they are closer to the metaphysical world. They still believe in magic, and we probably all recall at least some of the magical concoctions we created and believed in our own childhoods.

Each time, of course, I am denied admission—I deny I am a threat and I assure people I am able to do my work and take care of my child—but strangely enough, most times I am given a diagnosis of depression with psychotic features [ I am prescribed a total of twenty-five antipsychotics and sixty antidepressants. In her book, Slater recounts her experiment to Robert L.

In other words, they implied, Slater is lying. The exchange that followed was not the typical academic difference of opinion.

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This puts me in an awkward position, but probably not as awkward a position as it puts you—the editors and peer reviewers—for accepting for publication before reading the text my book toward which the rebuttal is aimed. I was able, however, to cobble together my own IRB, which consisted of Dr.

Loving your Seizures - for what they are.

Smith, who is on parole; and Lorna, our school crossing guard. Despite her successes as a writer and her graduate degree in psychology, Slater is an outsider, without academic affiliation and without authority.


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She is at a rhetorical disadvantage here, and her response can be read as a desperate attempt to alter the terms of the debate. In our view, this response would be misguided. Mental health researchers ignore popular perceptions of psychiatry and psychology at their peril [ It is perhaps disingenuous of Slater to respond this way, but it is also in keeping with her past work to be deliberately obscure, and to purposefully raise more questions than she will answer. She does not provide readers with evidence that it ever took place. Or does she also mean that the events she described were fictional?

In his experiment, which is based on an initial misreading—a failure to distinguish malingering fiction from a truly experienced symptom fact during admissions—staff and doctors continued to misread some behaviors of the pseudopatients as pathological during their hospitalization. For me, the authority is illusory, the etiologies constructed.

Lying The text itself begins with a fake introduction written by a fictional philosophy professor. Or I feel I have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a fascinating disease because some epileptics are liars, exaggerators, makers of myths and high-flying stories.

Margaret Price voices similar objections: […] in the choice to appropriate another disability to stand in metaphorically for her own, Slater is on risky ground. I do not wish to defend her choice, which I find problematic for a variety of reasons. And yet, perhaps in its very shamelessness lies its value.

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With this lurid gesture of untruth, the narrator of Lying refuses to become the exposed, confessing narrator of conventional disability autobiography. Lying complicates a genre that has been too easily packaged and consumed in the recent past. She told me she was a Holocaust survivor, a hot-air balloonist, a personal friend of Golda Meir. When the pianist calls her bluff and asks her to play, she takes the bench, places her hands carefully, and freezes. I was a girl in motion. I was wrong and dark and full of smells.

So Slater begins to take control of her illness by purposefully having seizures in the emergency rooms of various Boston hospitals: she wakes up to hands reaching out to her, providing her with the nurturing touch and care that her mother cannot or will not give her. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this.

Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir

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