Jakobson’s Hypothesis, Gleb / Ivanovich, and Perversion: G. Uspenskii’s Madness and His Short Story “Straightened”
This article analyzes the discourse of G. Uspenskii’s mental illness. Drawing on R. Jakobson’s hypothesis that the writer’s insanity was associated with his tendency toward metonymy, I analyze Uspenskii’s hallucinations and delusional ideas. The dissociative identity disorder observed during his illness is explained in terms of the effect of a metonymic cognitive pattern that split the writer’s conception of sexuality. After determining that his ambivalent attitude toward sexu-
ality is a semantic core of his delirium as narrative,I turn to the short story “Straightened,” which was written before his illness, and argue that its semantic structure was dictated by an attempt to find a noncontradictory way of looking at sexuality.