RARA-AVIS: Re: Psycho Noir

From: Charlie Williams ( cs_will@hotmail.com)
Date: 20 Mar 2006

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "George Tuttle" <noirfiction@...> wrote:
> Question:
> No doubt, psychosis is a great story devise in noir fiction, but how
> true is it to real behavior? Has there ever been a critical analysis
> of Nick Corey and other representations of psychotic behavior from a
> psychologist's point of view? Does this type of fiction capture the
> symptoms and traits? Having no training in the area, I am curious.


I can only speak for myself but characters just come out like they do. Plus, a mentally fragile character is always going to be more interesting than one who is rock solid up top. In fact, if I find myself (as a writer) with a character who is starting to look a bit too sane, I'll (subconsciously?) slip in a little flaw that will ultimately lead to his mental unravelling, and by the end he's crawling around in a puddle of his own urine, making hyena sounds.

As far how "real" this behaviour that behaviour might be, I don't think it matters. You don't need a syndrome label to describe how a character is. Then again I'm not a great one for research. My mum was a mental nurse - that's enough for me.

Good question.

Charlie Williams.

------- charliewilliams.net

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