I feel deep gratitude for the compassionate contribution that my friend and colleague, Michael Ramseur, has made to the memory of those thousands of souls who dwelled there in search of reclaimed sanity, and to the memory of their loving families and exhausted caretakers. Like no others before him, he has truly understood the whole enterprise, for better or worse, that was the lunatic asylum in Danvers. He has deftly recreated for us in this richly illustrated tome, a tribute to the all-too- human limits of that project in time.
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The Eye Of Danvers based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Ramseur's text is richly illustrated and textually sparse, which does strike a good balance regarding this particular subject, an (in)famous mental hospital. The work is certainly more of an artistic piece and impressionistic overview than a scholarly text. As such, it is successful, marrying surreal design and "snapshot" facts. He does draw on a lot of primary sources, such as reports from the hospital; this is a good thing, considering that these are sources the average public would not have access to. He also gives Danvers staff plenty of space to speak for themselves so that we can hear authentic voices.The book definitely doesn't have a professional layout; the text, overall, looks like it comes from a normally cited college paper and not from a book. The text could have used an editor in spots; for instance, when I mentioned the Danvers staff getting to speak, it frequently follows the same formula of an interductory stub of a sentence, then a colon, then a very lengthy quotation, then the end of the text.This is a work that is more felt than analyzed, though, and it does make a strong impression. I wavered between giving it 3 1/2 stars and 4, but I think that, between the haunting art and the brief, blunt text, I'll give it a 4.