‘The book they dared not print’, Zone
of the Interior is a lost classic of zonked-out, high-as-a-kite Sixties literature.
It tells the story of Sid Bell, an American political fugitive in London, who falls
under the spell of Dr. Willie Last (modelled on the radical 'anti-psychiatrist' RD
unlikely duo feast on LSD, mescaline, psilocybin and psychobabble, believing that
only by self-injecting themselves with schizophrenia will they become true existentialist
guerrillas. Their 'purple haze' odyssey takes them into the eye of the hurricane -
mental hospitals, secure units for the violent, the Harley Street cabal of the 'Sacred
7' and semi-derelict churches that come complete with an underground tank for the
woman convinced she's a fish.
approach is richly sardonic and anti-establishment, of both right and left, in a jazz-influenced
free-form prose, comic and serious, myth-puncturing and elegiac. Along the way Sigal,
now an established Hollywood screenwriter makes the case for a revolutionary period
of mental health nursing whose task is as yet undone.
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