Let’s Play The Literary Masterpiece/Mental Illness Match Game!
Much has been made about the relationship between mental illness and artistic creativity. To test this theory, I’ve assembled some of the most famous first lines in fiction. Your challenge is to match them with their book of origin, the author of that book, and – this is the important part – the mental illness that prompted the passage.
First Sentence: “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”
Book: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Author: Hunter S. Thompson
Mental Illness: Chemical dependency & narcissism.
1. First Sentence: “It was a pleasure to burn.”
2. First Sentence: “Call me Ishmael.”
3. First Sentence: “Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.”
4. First Sentence: “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”
5. First Sentence: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
6. First Sentence: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
7. First Sentence: “Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.”
1) Book: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Mental Illness: Pyromania.
2.) Book: Moby Dick
Author: Herman Melville
Mental Illness: Dissociative Identity Disorder. Seasickness By Proxy.
3.) Book: The Stranger
Author: Albert Camus
Mental Illness: Clinical Depression. Ennui. Flat affect. Unambiguous Nihilism.
4.) Book: Metamorphosis
Author: Franz Kafka
Mental Illness: Arachnophobia. Hallucinatory Exoskeletal Paranoia.
5.) Book: The Catcher In The Rye
Author: J.D. Salinger
Mental Illness: Passive/Aggressive Defiance & Fear Of Intimacy
6.) Book: A Tale Of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens
Mental Illness: Rapid-Cycling Bipolar II – Pathological Fear Of Commitment
7.) Book: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Author: James Joyce
Mental Illness: Paraphilic Infantilism (Autonepiophilia/Adult Baby Syndrome)
McHarg, A. (2012, April 19). Let’s Play The Literary Masterpiece/Mental Illness Match Game!, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/funnyinthehead/2012/04/lets-play-the-literary-masterpiecemental-illness-match-game