Monday, January 03, 2005

Yesterday I read a couple of quick books - the first of which was Beginning the World by Karen Armstrong. This is the sequel to Through the Narrow Gate and was written in 1983, covering the 12 or so years after she left the convent. This last year she wrote another version of those years (The Spiral Staircase), one that she felt was more accurate to the way she felt about those years, so I was interested to read this one and compare the differences in the accounts. The first thing I noticed is that there is not as much anger in this book toward her psychiatrists who consistently misdiagnosed her epilepsy. This is probably due to the fact that Beginning ends right after she begins taking the drugs for her condition and she hasn't really realized exactly how badly her health was mishandled. Although there is a passage where she does finally yell at one psychiatrist who told her that having a baby (!) would make her "outgrow" her hallucinations. The hell? The second big difference is her inclusion of her love life in this book and of having sex for the first time and the mental and physical anguish that decision and its aftermath caused her. She ends up with a guy who seems nearly as screwed up as she is and they are together for quite some time, which she only mentions in passing in Staircase. The most important events are covered in Staircase though and often in more depth, with more emotion and a greater understanding of her condition and religious beliefs.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?