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    4.48 Psychosis (Sarah Kane)

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    • A play, actually.

      4.48 Psychosis sees the ultimate narrowing of Sarah Kane’s focus in her work. The struggle of the self to remain intact has moved in her work from civil war, into the family, into the couple, into the individual, and finally into the theatre of phychosis: the mind itself. This play was written in 1999 shortly before the playwright took her own life at age 28. On the page, the piece looks like a poem. No characters are named, and even their number is unspecified. It could be a journey through one person’s mind, or an interview between a doctor and his patient.

      Quotes: 

      – Oh dear, what happened to your arm?

      – I cut it.

      – That’s a very immature, attention-seeking thing to do. Did it give you relief?

      – No.

      – Did it relieve the tension?

      – No.

      – Did it give you relief?

        (Silence.)

        Did it give you relief?

      – No.

      – I don’t understand why you did that.

      – Then ask.

      – Did it relive the tension?

        (A long silence.)

        Can I look?

      – No.

      – I’d like to look, to see if it’s infected.

      – No.

        (Silence.)

      – I thought you might do this. Lots of people do. It relives the tension.

      – Have you ever done it?

      – …

      – No. Far too fucking sane and sensible. I don’t know where you read that, but it does not relieve the tension.

        (Silence.)

        Why don’t you ask me why?
        Why did I cut my arm?

      – Would you like to tell me?

      – Yes.

      – Then tell me.

      ASK.
        ME.
        WHY.

        (A long silence.)

      – Why did you cut your arm?

      – Because it feels fucking great. Because it feels amazing.

      – Can I look?

      – You can look. But don’t touch.

      (Looks.) And I don’t think you’re ill?

      – No.

      – I do. It’s not your fault. But you have to take responsibility for your own actions. Please don’t do it again.

    • Book Title 4.48 Psychosis
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Welcome to self-injury.net. We are a support community for self-harmers and also provide information on self-harm, creative works, media lists, lists of resources (helplines, textlines, mental health apps, therapists, etc.), etc. We focus on self-injury but a number of other mental health issues are included.

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