MadBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1875 (Published 05 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1875
- Jackie Gordon, liaison psychiatrist, mental health liaison team, Worthing Hospital
Mad is a stark and brilliant portrayal, by Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), the father of the modern short story, of a man ever more gripped by morbid jealousy. One of Maupassant’s mentors was Gustave Flaubert, whose Madame Bovary brought a new psychological realism to literature with its tale of the beguiling Emma becoming steadily unhinged. Maupassant takes this further. If Flaubert is impressionistic, then Maupassant is surely expressionistic. His brush strokes are wilder, the effect is starker, and the impact more shocking.
In Mad we observe a man becoming horribly disillusioned with a relationship that had seemed dangerously idealised from the start. To read this dark and sobering account of love turning poisonous is painful and similar to the …