People frighten me. Real people do, for that matter, and I detail a great deal of this in my story. I often dissociate to rid myself of bad memories and delusional thinking, and yet I test high for metacognition.
Malvern, UK (PRWEB UK) 1 July 2014
'People frighten me. Real people do, for that matter, and I detail a great deal of this in my story. I often dissociate to rid myself of bad memories and delusional thinking, and yet I test high for metacognition', declared Harnisch in a recent interview. 'My mind often frightens me, too. It’s all a balancing act', he explains.
In a few sentences, Harnisch illustrates, with his personal experience, the fascinating irony of dissociative disorders like schizophrenia—he wants to hide, but ends up hiding behind himself. The average person on the street may wonder what Harnisch is talking about in this quote and other statements he makes about his book. He is talking about his own experiences with schizoaffective disorder.
Harnisch's struggle with his condition is interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers and this provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalising the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand.
As an author with schizophrenia, Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality, and his main characters, Ben and Georgie, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.
Both Ben and Georgie are real people, but Ben is the only one of the two who has a birth certificate. It could be said that Georgie is the only one who has a life. Ben exists on paper, but would rather hide away; Georgie exists on the streets and in bars. He is the outspoken one and Ben watches his successes from the shadows. Both men find themselves attracted to Claudia, Ben's alluring neighbour, but only Georgie has the confidence to approach her. The 'third wheel' angst of Ben in this relationship forms the main plot of the novel.
Harnisch formed this ground breaking novel as transgressive fiction. This is a genre that is probably most commonly encountered in the works of Jean Genet. However, you do not need a degree in literature to understand the plot because Harnisch sheds light in this written account in order to reach out to the general public. The novel is not, therefore, a difficult read. The entertaining and accessible style of the novel has created a buzz around Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography.
Jonathan Harnisch is a sufferer of comorbid schizoaffective spectrum condition and this is the inspiration for the plot of his novel. Harnisch has exploited the insights brought to him by his condition to become an accomplished mental health advocate, film and TV producer, musician and fine artist.