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The mind creates ghosts

Patrick McGrath's new novel isn't his best. But it's another example of his extraordinary talent for dissecting our inner lives, and for blurring the fine line between sanity and sickness
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

Those seeking to explain the actions of Josef Fritzl have resorted to stock ideas—that he is insane, evil or a product of his culture. Yet for all his depravity, he remains one of us
Alexander Linklater  

Christopher Hitchens

From '68 agitator to staunch supporter of George W Bush's Iraq war—what explains Hitchens's political journey? I spent three days with him in Washington trying to find out
Alexander Linklater  

Bombast as art

In portraying Hitler as the product of a diabolical incest, Norman Mailer has taken fictional ambition to a remote peak of implausibility
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

Alice thinks she's depressed, but her erratic behaviour may be better explained by the diagnosis nobody wants & borderline personality disorder
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

A dying man is depressed, so he gets prescribed anti-depressants. Is this absurd? A strong dose of belief might have the same effect
Alexander Linklater  

After Freud

On his 150th anniversary, Freud's legacy is being dismantled by the ideas of his greatest challenger, Aaron Beck. Cognitive therapy is now the orthodox talking cure in Britain, and the government wants more of it. But with cognitive science comes…
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

A Cambodian woman is paralysed just like her husband, but she has not had a stroke. She is in a grey region of "conversion disorders"
Alexander Linklater  

Out of mind

Mick, John and Leonard are all chronic alcoholics. Are they just "addictive personalities," or can they make up their own minds?
Alexander Linklater