Displaced Metaphor as Madness? A Critical-Clinical Study of Schizophrenia in Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange

Fakhrkonandeh A., Sümbül Y.

English Studies, vol.102, no.6, pp.800-827, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 102 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/0013838x.2021.1966967
  • Journal Name: English Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, L'Année philologique, Humanities Abstracts, International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance (IBTD), Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.800-827
  • Keywords: Schizophrenia, critical-clinical, Gilles Deleuze, race, psychoanalysis, BRITISH, RACISM, RISK
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.No other trope captures the perceived complexity of schizophrenia and the epistemological, clinical, ethical and phenomenological aporias it poses than the phrase “the sublime object of psychiatry” (Angela Woods). “Sublimity”, however, instigates further complications and problems by mystifying the nature and experience of schizophrenia rather than contributing to the development of a clearer account of it. A conspicuous case of the critique of this treatment of schizophrenia in terms of the “sublime” can be found in Joe Penhall’s two dramatic works: Some Voices (1993) and Blue/Orange (2000). This essay will argue that Penhall's treatment of schizophrenia is distinguished by two salient features: its method (the critical-clinical) and its simultaneously symptomatic and symptomatological treatment of schizophrenia. What further distinguishes Penhall’s critical depiction of schizophrenia is his insistence that the cultural is as crucial as the clinical in the experience, representation, and perception of schizophrenia. This is attested by his acute inclusion of such crucial issues as race, class, discourse, and gender as highly determining elements in the experience, perceptions and diagnosis of schizophrenia. This essay, accordingly, will demonstrate how Blue/Orange presents a critical-clinical account of the limits of various discursively-determined treatments of schizophrenia (including both psychiatry and anti-psychiatry) thereby accentuating the necessity of developing a more holistic method in the cultural and clinical treatments of schizophrenia.