DSM-V as Dystopian Novel

We’re several months on from the release of the most recent edition of the standard psychiatric diagnostic manual in the United States, the DSM-V. By way of a colleague, I came across an acidic critique in The New Inquiry by Sam Kriss (no relation, as far as I know). With a feigned seriousness, Kriss reviews the DSM-V as though it were a dystopian novel in the vein of Huxley and Orwell:

Our narrator seems to believe that by compiling an exhaustive list of everything that might go askew in the human mind, this wrong state might somehow be overcome or averted…. This mad project is so overwhelming that its originator can’t even tell that they’ve subsumed themselves within its matrix. We’re dealing with a truly unreliable narrator here… one whose entire conceptual framework is radically off-kilter. As such, the entire story is a portrait of the narrator’s own particular madness.

Read the full story.


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