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Conquering shame and quest for recovery€”: An analysis of Gunilla Linn Persson€™s The Tale of Myself, an autobiographical narrative poem on mental illness
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Poetry Therapy, ISSN 0889-3675, E-ISSN 1567-2344, Vol. 28, no 3, 195-205 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Talking about mental suffering can be defined as producing a shameful, i.e., an embarrassing and painful, text. This essay aims to understand mental illness and recovery through the inside perspective offered by the Swedish playwright Gunilla Linn Persson in her autobiographic narrative poem, by taking a narrative approach to the text. In the form of a tale, Persson recaptures the story of her life. The suppressed stories of a dead child and an abandoned child assume symbolic meaning for three generations of women in her family. She also becomes aware of her own delusions such as staying in a false love relationship. However, the narrative stops being embarrassing and painful for several reasons, one of which being that her daughters specifically ask about it. The story was also tellable because it was composed in retrospect when Persson had recovered from a bipolar disease as well as from alcoholism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015. Vol. 28, no 3, 195-205 p.
Keyword [en]
Alcoholism, bipolar, Gunilla Linn Persson, mental illness, personal narrative, recovery
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42457DOI: 10.1080/08893675.2015.1051290ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84942853364OAI: diva2:930338
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Lis Bodil
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