The Clare Spark Blog

April 22, 2010

Links to blogs on military psychiatry

Roy R. Grinker, Sr. (I added an excerpt from leading military psychiatrist Roy Grinker up front)

Note that military psychiatry evolved from the perspective of the officer class, not that of the enlisted men. Here is a telling excerpt from Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford UP, 1975):

[Fussell, pp 84-85:]   No soldier who has fought ever entirely overcomes his disrespect for the Staff. David Jones is one in whom forty-five years after the war that disrespect is still vital and fructive. In his essay “The Utile,” in Epoch and Artist (1959), his point is that to make art one must hurl oneself into it, get down into one’s material, roll in it, snuff it up: know it, in fact, the way troops know fighting, rather than the way the Staff conjectures about it: [quoting Jones:] Ars is adamant about one thing: she compels you to do an infantryman’s job. She insists on the tactile. The artist in man is the infantryman in man…all men are aboriginally of  this infantry, though not all serve with this infantry. To pursue the analogy, this continued employment “away from the unit” has made habitual and widespread a “staff mentality.”

[Fussell, cont.] Which is to say that the artist is overweighed by critics, reviewers, discussants, conjecturers, manipulators. “Today,” Jones concludes, “most of us are staff-wallahs of one sort or another.”

Blog at