Prozac Nation (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 1995
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"[Wurtzel] is smart, she is funny...she is thoughtful and...she is very, very brave. Wurtzel portrays, from the inside out, an emotional life perpetually spent outrunning the relentless pursuit of what she describes as a black wave, often sacrificing her likability on the altar of her truth."Vanity Fair
"A very important book, particularly to the countless number of people who aren't sure what's wrong with them but are suffering from the negative thinking, erratic behavior, and dark moods associated with clinical depression. A powerful self-portrait...well worth reading"San Francisco Bay Guardian
"The saddest, funniest, and ultimately, most triumphant book about youthful depression I've come across. It reads like a mixture of J.D. Salinger and Sylvia Plath, with some Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen thrown in for good measure...[Wurtzel] is one canny and entertaining observer of her generation: if you've been wondering why Kurt Cobain meant what he didwhat it feels like to be young, gifted, and black of spiritthis book is the CD, tape, video, and literary answer all in one."Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment
"A very good book, maybe even an important one, and the pain and despair Wurtzel describes are as real as they are excruciatingly rendered."Mademoiselle--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Présentation de l'éditeur
Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger in the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. In this famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.
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Some catastrophic situations invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Lire la première page
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C'est brutal mais très réel: je le conseille mais pas au âme sensible.
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Personally, I found it interesting and revealing. No matter where she went, or what she was doing, or how much her friends cared about her, she still had those same old symptoms. That's clinical depression as opposed to someone who is in a difficult situation and therefore feeling lousy.
She needs to make this abundantly clear, because the final point, and the justification for her book's title, depends on the reader understanding the depth and breadth of her depression, and the etiology of it-- or lack of a clear cause, if that is a better way to put it. Wurtzel is not unhappy because her parents are divorcing, or because she was forced to go summer after summer to camps she hated, or because she disliked her afterschool program, or because high school was difficult for her academically (it wasn't). She's just depressed because there's something about Elizabeth Wurtzel that is bound to be depressed.
This leads into her late stated thesis: Prozac, and drugs like it are the Philosopher's Stone for people with this kind of ontological depression. But everyone seems to be taking something for the mildest and most transient of melancholias. Prozac has almost become a by-word for something doctors throw at hypochondriacs to make them go away.
So the same drug that saved Wurtzel's life was becoming something that cheapened her real disease, and caused people to whisper "she really could just shake it off, but she's taking the easy way out."
Before Wurtzel brings Prozac into the story, she desperately wants to show the reader that if it were merely a question of shaking it off, there would be no book.
Personally, I found her narrative voice pleasantly engaging, but I will admit that it is distinctively marked by her generation, to which I also belong. Her words rang in my head like conversation with a good friend. Someone much older or younger might have difficulty engaging with the narrative.
This question of the narrative voice may date the book eventually, but then so will the whole subject of Prozac and its over or under prescription, so I don't think it is a criticism to observe that Wurtzel chose to use such a marked writing style.
Whether one has been through depression or not, this book is fascinating. It's a trip through a generation growing up, through Jewish camps and Hebrew school for those who remember them, and depression for those who want comfort in company, or those who want to know more. I would recommend it to anyone.
What was curious is that she skipped her entire high school years. I kept looking to see if I missed something, but oops, Wurtzel forget to put it in. She takes us through middle school, where she's starting to cut her legs, be depressed, and fail in school. She's starting to be a mess. And then all of a sudden, we go from age 12 to Harvard! Umm, what happened in between? How did she manage to get into Harvard? Did she become unpsychotic, pull up her grades, attend high school as a normal girl? Did her depression go on vacation for 4 years, and then come back to her in college? I found this rather distracting, as she gives no information on how she ended up there, and who is paying for her bill.
Anyway, I got about 2/3 through and then just stopped because it got repetitive. The same story. There was no growth, no change, Wurtzel didn't seem to want to get rid of her depression. She was now in her early 20s yet acted like the ten year old she was earlier in the book.
Judging from the skipped high school years, I tend to think she made a lot of this up. And that really bothered me.
Utterly inconsolable? Yes.
I would like to start off with one positive thought: Elizabeth Wurtzel had excellent qualifications for writing this book, because she appears to have been an extremely depressed. Outside of this, I have nothing good to say about the book.
The title promises a book with highly insightful things to say about depression (specifically, the experience of being depressed in America and all that it entails), but that's not what you'll find between the tortured-looking girl on the front cover, and several quotes from fashion magazines on the back. Instead, you will hear the pseudo-profound rantings of an uneducated girl who is eager to blame nearly all of her problems on her circumstances and the people in her life. I will acknowledge that her upbringing was not exactly first-rate, but it was not HORRIBLE by any means. Wurtzel makes her lower-middle-class, one-parent household seem like some version of hell... And she also implies that if only she had had more money and parents who loved eachother, she could have had a better life. Having grown up gifted and manic-depressive with two very wealthy, loving parents, I have come to understand that sometimes we need to take responsibility for our own healing; Wurtzel has either not realized that or she refuses to accept it, as evidenced by her constant whining about circumstances.
Wurtzel's endless complaining gives the book a tone of unbearable self-indulgence... somewhat akin to the child on the playground who refused to share his toys. The word "I" becomes nearly as imporant as in Ayn Rand's novel, ANTHEM. One word: EGO.
All of this is topped off by Wurtzel's hideous writing style, but I won't bother to go into that.
I would not reccommend this book to others... one's time would be better spent with Sylvia Plath's THE BELL JAR.