I just this morning started reading Thomas Bernhard’s novel, Wittgenstein’s Nephew, and came across this passage, which made me laugh out loud:
Of all medical practitioners, psychiatrists are the most incompetent, having a closer affinity to the sex killer than to their science. All my life I have dreaded nothing so much as falling into the hands of psychiatrists, beside whom all other doctors, disasrous though they may be, are far less dangerous, for in our present day society psychiatrists are a low unto themselves and enjoy total immunity…Psychiatrists are the real demons of our age, going about their business with impunity and constrained by niether law nor conscience (8).
If you haven’t read Bernhard, you should. Bernhard’s books are unlike books that are, I don’t know, separated into paragraphs, or even chapters, or have some sort of visual structure. Bernhard also tends to put certain phrases in italics, and repeat them over and over again. Although I know that others I’ve given Bernhard books to read can’t get into him at all, I generally find myself sucked in early on by the unyileding prose. At first it’s somewhat exhausting, if not disorienting, but well worth it. I read Correction a few years back, followed by Extinction. I enjoyed both books quite a bit.