Jonathan Harnisch's inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought provoking of modern day.
Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiographyby Jonathan Harnisch
Envision a blend of a mentally ill mind with unsurpassed resiliency and fiery intellect and your result would be the brilliant Jonathan Harnisch. An all-around artist, Jonathan writes fiction and screenplays, sketches, imagines, and creates. His inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought provoking of modern… See more details below
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Envision a blend of a mentally ill mind with unsurpassed resiliency and fiery intellect and your result would be the brilliant Jonathan Harnisch. An all-around artist, Jonathan writes fiction and screenplays, sketches, imagines, and creates. His inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought provoking of modern day.
'What A Powerful Book'
"I confess, tears fell in some spots, as Ben came to know what had happened to him as a child. Harnisch has chosen the perfect way to express what a mentally ill mind actually FEELS like. The incessant repetition of Georgie's morning routine, with new variants every time, his "first dates" with Claudia, over and over again--all gave a disturbing and VERY uncomfortable "edge" to the book that left my brain spinning by the end. It's brilliant."
BENJAMIN (BEN, BENJY) SCHREIBER has Tourette's syndrome, which causes him to display uncontrollable tics and hops, and to stutter and swear inappropriately. He is bullied through his school years and can never form firm friendships, especially with women. He is simply incapable of happiness. In his late twenties, he plunges into a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, which culminates in an attempted bank robbery using a cell phone as a fake bomb. He is arrested and placed under psychiatric evaluation, where his psychiatrist, Dr C, quickly sees Ben's affliction as more than just Tourette's. Ben is not alone: Inside his head lives GEORGIE GUST, Ben's alter ego. Georgie is obsessed with his manipulative but extremely sexual next door neighbor CLAUDIA NESBITT and shares a sadomasochistic relationship with her that is supported only by his obsession--Claudia has no love for Georgie. Ben is desperately searching for someone --Claudia Nesbitt as the Perfect Woman--who will provide him the unconditional love that he never received as a boy. He finds it easier to retreat into his mind to share Georgie's sick obsession with Georgie's cruel and abusive Claudia than to deal with his real issues. Dr C senses that Ben is suffering from some type of post-traumatic stress that occurred early in Ben's childhood and that he uses Georgie as an escape when bad memories start to surface. It is up to Dr C to help Ben face the buried terrors of his childhood so that he can finally let go of Georgie and reduce him to the literary character that the writer Ben wants him to be.
As its title suggests, Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography is actually based on Harnisch's own experiences as a person diagnosed with a comorbid schizoaffective spectrum condition. Ben and Georgie and Claudia were/are all part of his past, part of what has led to his becoming a writer. Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography represents his first manuscript of appreciable length. Its target audience is adult readers who enjoy the transgressive style that best depicts the intricacies of a mentally ill mind.
"How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and that there will never be a time when it is not now. Would I trade my comorbid schizoaffective spectrum condition? No way. Never. Too many gifts, like Georgie Gust and Claudia Nesbitt, come along with it." --Jonathan Harnisch
'I Loved This Book–Everything About It'
"As I an undergrad, I was required–emphasis on required–to read Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers, a very early example of transgressive fiction, and although I could appreciate the literary value of the book, it was almost impossible to read because of Genet's approach to his characters–he didn't seem to like any of them, and his prose seemed more to ridicule than explore their foibles. As a result of reading Genet's work so many years ago, I have never thought I liked transgressive fiction, never thought I'd read it again, and then along came Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography. Wow. What a difference. Harnisch's Georgie Gust is such a beautifully written, tragic character, who the reader can't help but cheer on. You want Georgie to be happy. What an accomplishment. Harnisch wades into a genre in which disconnected, ugly sexual encounters predominate, and yet you just want Georgie to get it together, be happy, and see the world as his friend. Genius. I loved this book."
'Inwards To The Outward'
"Harnisch's sense of the inner machinations of human experience spring into life through text. An almost ritualized sojourn, much like the classic hero's journey, takes place before the reader's eyes and leads to insights both sanguine and sometimes disturbing. True to the modern form of literature, Harnisch uses all tools available to catch the reader in a spider's web of story while exposing humanity's own false prophets. Truly a great read!"
- Jonathan Harnisch
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