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Mens Sana in corpore Sano? Interiority and peripheral insanity in Patrick McGrath's 'Ground zero'

Sien Uytterschout (UGent) and Katrien Bollen (UGent)
(2015) ENGLISH STUDIES. 96(2). p.173-190
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Abstract
In the authors’ reading of Patrick McGrath’s novella “Ground Zero”, the geopolitical consequences of 9/11 are not only shown to resonate in the protagonists’ domestic sphere, unsettling their comfortable vie intérieure, but they are also literally inscribed in the human mind. Focalized through a narrator active as a psychiatrist, McGrath's story invokes a quasi-unmediated subjectivity that seems unchallenged. As it turns out, however, the medical, moral, and social authority upon which the nameless psychiatrist in “Ground Zero” acts, and the hierarchy of knowledge in her doctor-patient relationships are slowly being eroded from the inside out. The events of 9/11 have instigated in the characters’ social environment (and ultimately in themselves) a permanent factor of uncertainty and doubt. In reaction to this impingement on their daily routines, the narrator ensconces herself in a safe world of interiority and seclusion. Her highly-tuned analytical skills notwithstanding, the narrator is at a loss when it comes to diagnosing the post-9/11 condition of the times, as well as her own position vis-à-vis the events.

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Chicago
Uytterschout, Sien, and Katrien Bollen. 2015. “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano? Interiority and Peripheral Insanity in Patrick McGrath’s ‘Ground Zero’.” English Studies 96 (2): 173–190.
APA
Uytterschout, S., & Bollen, K. (2015). Mens Sana in corpore Sano? Interiority and peripheral insanity in Patrick McGrath’s “Ground zero.” ENGLISH STUDIES, 96(2), 173–190.
Vancouver
1.
Uytterschout S, Bollen K. Mens Sana in corpore Sano? Interiority and peripheral insanity in Patrick McGrath’s “Ground zero.”ENGLISH STUDIES. Taylor and Francis; 2015;96(2):173–90.
MLA
Uytterschout, Sien, and Katrien Bollen. “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano? Interiority and Peripheral Insanity in Patrick McGrath’s ‘Ground Zero’.” ENGLISH STUDIES 96.2 (2015): 173–190. Print.
@article{4150096,
  abstract     = {In the authors{\textquoteright} reading of Patrick McGrath{\textquoteright}s novella {\textquotedblleft}Ground Zero{\textquotedblright}, the geopolitical consequences of 9/11 are not only shown to resonate in the protagonists{\textquoteright} domestic sphere, unsettling their comfortable vie int{\'e}rieure, but they are also literally inscribed in the human mind. Focalized through a narrator active as a psychiatrist, McGrath's story invokes a quasi-unmediated subjectivity that seems unchallenged. As it turns out, however, the medical, moral, and social authority upon which the nameless psychiatrist in {\textquotedblleft}Ground Zero{\textquotedblright} acts, and the hierarchy of knowledge in her doctor-patient relationships are slowly being eroded from the inside out. The events of 9/11 have instigated in the characters{\textquoteright} social environment (and ultimately in themselves) a permanent factor of uncertainty and doubt. In reaction to this impingement on their daily routines, the narrator ensconces herself in a safe world of interiority and seclusion. Her highly-tuned analytical skills notwithstanding, the narrator is at a loss when it comes to diagnosing the post-9/11 condition of the times, as well as her own position vis-{\`a}-vis the events.},
  author       = {Uytterschout, Sien and Bollen, Katrien},
  issn         = {0013-838X},
  journal      = {ENGLISH STUDIES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {173--190},
  publisher    = {Taylor and Francis},
  title        = {Mens Sana in corpore Sano? Interiority and peripheral insanity in Patrick McGrath's 'Ground zero'},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2014.983776},
  volume       = {96},
  year         = {2015},
}

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