Wednesday, 2 December 2009

More on Admission Procedures and Institutionalised Punishment

Once again I find myself a little strapped for time. I have to rush out to get on with one or two shores related to preparations for Christmas but I shall be taking my net book computer with me so hopefully I will be doing a little writing later on somewhere, perhaps in a pub with any luck! There has been some interesting correspondence going on via the comments sections attached to my last few posts over the last couple of days, including the contribution of some very interesting and useful links, all of which I shall report on next time. An anonymous contributor has apparently been greatly taken with the subject of admission procedures, as portrayed in the reader's letter that I scanned in from an old copy of Janus I found my collection. As I said before, this was a subject broached any times over the years in the Janus reader’s letters pages, played a pivotal role in developing and forming my interests as they are today and in retrospective view provided a rich vein which I have unashamedly mined quite extensively in developing some of the ideas I have incorporated (and continue to develop) in my INSTITUTIONALISED story arc. Anyway, over the weekend, while rummaging through my old suitcase-cum-treasure chest in a spare moment, I came across a fascinating firsthand account of life in a 1930s institution that I remember reading way back in the 1980s and that my mind has often flashback to in developing my storylines. I have truncated it somewhat, as it is rather long and also moves away from my particular areas of interest, to include those sections that were personally most influential at the time and that endured in the back of my mind to be refined, redeveloped and incorporated into the little (and not so little) tableaux I would conjure in fantasy. See you soon - meanwhile why not have a trawl through the comments sections and join in; all ideas and contributions are most gratefully welcomed.
And the birched Schoolgirl? Nothing to do with the letter's contents whatsoever, it's just that the birch seems to me an appropriate form of institutional corporal punishment for that era. I can't envisage it in the home environment, even in the hands of a stern governess, but within the confines of a suitably secure punitive institution...that's another matter entirely. It is not a form of correction I would imagine would be found wielded by the medical staff, the nurses and matron, populating the secure experimental psychology unit that we visit in INSTITUTIONALISED volumes 1 and 2, but behind the walls of a charitable church-run shelter for girls deemed in moral danger... Well, who knows?