Pascale Antolin

Published On


Page Range

pp. 123–146


  • English

5. To Be or Not to Be a Patient

Challenging Biomedical Categories in Joshua Ferris’s The Unnamed

  • Pascale Antolin (author)
This chapter shows to what extent the undiagnosed condition of Ferris’s main protagonist in The Unnamed provokes a questioning of medical classifications and contemporary neurological reduction. With his compulsive walking, the lawyer turns into a tramp. As he is both well-off and homeless, ‘normate’ and disabled, he destabilizes social categories. Writing a syndrome novel without any identified syndrome, borrowing from Dickinson’s poetry and the Naturalist novel, Ferris also challenges literary genres and conventions.


Pascale Antolin