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Cat by Theodore Isaac Rubin
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This small book is a peculiar work. Psychoanalyst Theodore Rubin wrote this book to illustrate what he thought that the world of the catatonic mental patient is like. The account is written in the first person -- one is thrust into the mind of the victim and experiences what he does. In the first part of the work, the patient's thoughts are fragmentary and incoherent -- he experiences only sensations and hears snatches of conversation that have no meaning to him. As the patient progresses through treatment, he emerges from his catatonic state to be able to understand, and eventually, to communicate.

Rubin's attempt in this book was ambitious but flawed. As a work of fiction it is not a success, and it certainly is not enjoyable to read -- though that was not the author's intent. Who can say whether the text succeeds at representing the world of the catatonic, since how could Rubin know what they actually felt and thought? In any case, the peek the reader is given into the altered mental states of catatonia may arouse empathy (for those motivated to continue reading it), and no doubt that was the author's goal. ( )
3 vote danielx | Jun 6, 2013 |
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