The Fragmentation Podcast

28
Dec

Lover in the Nobody First Edition by Jonathan Harnisch (Best-Selling Fiction Author)

Equal parts existential nihilism and fetishistic erotica, this darkly hypnotic novel--in which the lines between reality and delusion are hopelessly blurred--chronicles a mentally ill man's search for meaning in his life, or at least some kind of profound corporeal satisfaction.
Georgie Gust, who has Tourette's syndrome and may be schizophrenic, is also a hardcore masochist and foot fetishist and believes that finding the "everlasting orgasm" is what he needs to change his life. The son of independently wealthy parents, Gust has frequented kinky sex clubs for years without any real fulfillment. But when he becomes enamored with his next-door neighbor--a middle-aged paramedic named Claudia--he offers to pay her to be his torturer, his "personal trainer in pain."
But the fiery redhead takes her job a little too seriously and the humiliation quickly escalates to brutal, life-threatening assaults. His alluring dominatrix with the "perfect, long, skinny toes" is quickly transformed into a psychotic madwoman who is systematically destroying his life: "...that bitch, that whore, that woman I love and hate. She created a paradise and then set it aflame. She is my world and its end, my kinky sex goddess, my creepy-crawly nemesis."
The brilliance of this storyline--and it is brilliant--is in the author's use of the unreliable narrator. The novel begins with Gust in a psych ward after an apparent suicide attempt. As his story unfolds, the reader is introduced to Ben, who may be Gust's limo driver, a figment of his imagination, or an alter ego. The reader is never quite sure until the very end -- when a bombshell revelation turns the entire narrative upside down.
Lover in the Nobody is a poignant exploration into the world of mental illness that is simultaneously deeply disturbing and salaciously spellbinding. It is sure to resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.
-- BlueInk Review
00:0000:00
28
Dec

Starred Book Review of Lover in the Nobody by Jonathan Harnisch

STARRED REVIEW
Lover in the Nobody
Jonathan Harnisch
CreateSpace, 174 pages, (paperback) $9.99, 978-1505562460 (Reviewed: December, 2015)
Equal parts existential nihilism and fetishistic erotica, this darkly hypnotic novel—in which the lines between reality and delusion are hopelessly blurred—chronicles a mentally ill man’s search for meaning in his life, or at least some kind of profound corporeal satisfaction.
Georgie Gust, who has Tourette’s syndrome and may be schizophrenic, is also a hardcore masochist and foot fetishist and believes that finding the “everlasting orgasm” is what he needs to change his life. The son of independently wealthy parents, Gust has frequented kinky sex clubs for years without any real fulfillment. But when he becomes enamored with his next-door neighbor—a middle-aged paramedic named Claudia—he offers to pay her to be his torturer, his “personal trainer in pain.”
But the fiery redhead takes her job a little too seriously and the humiliation quickly escalates to brutal, life-threatening assaults. His alluring dominatrix with the “perfect, long, skinny toes” is quickly transformed into a psychotic madwoman who is systematically destroying his life: “...that bitch, that whore, that woman I love and hate. She created a paradise and then set it aflame. She is my world and its end, my kinky sex goddess, my creepy-crawly nemesis.”
The brilliance of this storyline—and it is brilliant—is in the author’s use of the unreliable narrator. The novel begins with Gust in a psych ward after an apparent suicide attempt. As his story unfolds, the reader is introduced to Ben, who may be Gust’s limo driver, a figment of his imagination, or an alter ego. The reader is never quite sure until the very end — when a bombshell revelation turns the entire narrative upside down.
Lover in the Nobody is a poignant exploration into the world of mental illness that is simultaneously deeply disturbing and salaciously spellbinding. It is sure to resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.
— BlueInk Review
00:0000:00
28
Dec

When We Were Invincible Paperback Second Edition

Written in the vein of Catcher in the Rye or The World According to Garp, Jonathan Harnisch’s When We Were Invincible is a coming-of-age novella, which details the experiences of outsider Georgie Gust navigating the fictional St. Michael’s Academy, a prestigious East Coast boarding school. Georgie suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and early onset schizophrenia, which makes his journey all the more poignant.

00:0000:00
28
Dec

The Brutal Truth Paperback First Edition

Jonathan Harnisch is an “artist, dreamer, man on a mission, and human being just like you.” He is also “a deeply troubled and disturbed person,” who lives with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder. He is committed to sharing his unique life online in order to help others. Through a relentless, direct encounter with his schizophrenic self and thoughts, Harnisch offers a rare insight into this often misunderstood disorder. Extraordinarily, the message is one of resilience and hope, finding rare wisdom through enduring and learning to understand his psychotic episodes. Rather than retreating into his own troubles, Harnisch journeys inside himself in order to understand the humanity that he shares with others: “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.” For all its fearless honesty, The Brutal Truth is throughout an affirmation of life. As Harnisch says, “I write and publish what I want and what I feel, no matter what mood or state of mind I am in, but I always do my best to keep things positive.” After all, he knows that he is “a legitimate, loving, grateful, and spiritual human being who deserves to be loved and accepted and who deserves to make decisions, to make mistakes, and to be forgiven.” The Brutal Truth shows that it is by acknowledging the schizophrenic experience that we can come to understand and deal with it. Harnisch’s essays offer daring descriptions of what it is like to live—moment upon moment—with schizophrenia. These essays are written to help others undergoing mental disorders. They will also help those who want to better understand what their loved ones are going through so that they can help them more effectively and more compassionately. But these essays are not just for those affected by psychiatric disorders. All readers will feel enriched after spending time with Harnisch in this extraordinary and too often untold schizophrenic world. As Harnisch says, “We schizophrenics, through our psychosis—our delusions, our hallucinations, our reality—create or develop a story.” Seldom has the schizophrenic story been told with such unflinching honesty and truth.

00:0000:00
28
Dec

Living Colorful Beauty Paperback Second Edition

Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride. 

In Living Colorful Beauty, author Jonathan Harnisch tells the story of Ben, a man diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, schizoaffective disorder, and several other issues. Ever since his youth, Ben has been both plagued by mental illness and obsessed with venality. As he navigates through an unstable, directionless life and leaves a string of shattered romances in his wake, he generates a fictional character, Georgie Gust, to deal with his many paraphilias and neuroses. But with the introduction of a new psychotherapist, Ben may have a chance to let go of his doppelgänger as well as his overwhelming insecurity. 

Though the book is saturated with Ben's sexuality, its prevailing theme is actually his struggle to come to terms with his mental health. The entire book reads like a Freudian therapy session, so the ultimate resolution of Ben's problems is appropriate. Ben's internal creative process is integral to the book's effectiveness, since much of the psychoanalysis Ben receives seems to come from himself through the lens of his fictional creation, Georgie. The book features an almost claustrophobic amount of navel-gazing, which may be intentional. At times, the reading experience leaves no doubt as to how the book's main character could drive himself crazy with his recursive, obsessive self-examination. 

Ben and Georgie have an interesting and nuanced relationship. At times Ben seems completely unable to control his double while simultaneously being one with him. He often reassures himself that his creation is the inferior man, citing Georgie's pumpkin-like body as the reason that nobody will ever want him. On the other hand, of the two of them, Georgie seems to have the more active love life. Ben reaches for emotional intimacy through relationship after relationship, but his illness, issues with women, and physical demands--the Georgie in him--constantly hamper his progress. 

As the narrator, Ben's point of view colors all of the other characters. Several of these, in addition to Georgie, are or may be fictional, mere expressions of Ben's illness. This is especially true of the women in Ben's life. There are comparatively very few men in this story, but the women are usually of a seductive and even predatory type. Ben aggressively sizes up the ladies he knows, from his girlfriends to his therapist, in terms of their attractiveness, perhaps in an attempt to balance the scales, since in his own perception, women are domineering copies of his own terrifying mother. Part of Ben's evolution is to move toward a valuing of women beyond his mother issues, a satisfying direction for this character to travel. 

Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride that ends on a hopeful note. It may interest fans of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins. 

ANNA CALL (November 19, 2015) 
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews
00:0000:00
20
Dec

Second Alibi - The Genius of a Mentally Ill Mind

Second Alibi: The Banality of Life by Jonathan Harnisch
 
From Arts & Entertainment
"Genius. I loved this book."
 
From Worldnews Network
"This story is now shedding light on the experiences of schizophrenics in a language that the non-sufferer can understand."
 
From WOWK 13 News, W.Va, WV
"Harnisch's sense of the inner machinations of human experience spring into life through the text." 
 
From Editor, Second Alibi: The Banality of Life 
"My brain was spinning by the end. It's brilliant."
 
What...is it like to suffer from...schizophrenia combined with...Tourette's syndrome? ...[Harnisch's] answers to such questions and the ways in which they are portrayed prove complex. Mixing diary entries...with a screenplay...messages are often jumbled though not without merit, [as] when the narrator announces that "I had a paranoid spell last night. [My wife] was texting me, and I was convinced that it was my stepmother impersonating my wife." Wildly varied in style and content, making for an informative and strange trip through the experience of mental disorders.
-- Kirkus Reviews [Print Magazine Featured Book]
 
Afflicted with schizophrenia, Tourette's Syndrome and other mental illnesses, the prolific and gifted Jonathan Harnisch has transformed the harrowing raw material of his life into what he calls "transgressive fiction" in semi-autobiographical novels such as Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography and Living Colorful Beauty. With Second Alibi: The Banality of Life, he revisits the abrasive, triangular psychodrama of his brilliant, questing psychotic Ben Schreiber, Ben's libertine alter-ego, Georgie Gust, and the sadistic temptress, Claudia Nesbitt, who torments them both, while also including a moving plea for understanding that stands apart from the disturbed fevers of his fiction. 
This is a story, I hope, about my coming to enlightenment," Harnisch writes, and in that vein he enlightens us, too, about the fantastic terrors of schizophrenia: "What this life is like with the ups and the downs, the confusion, the love and the hate; the black and the white." He tells us about his moods abruptly shifting 25 times in an hour, his suicide attempts and addictions, the grim realities of sleep deprivation and the fear that his beloved wife has been reading his mind. 
Second Alibi toggles unpredictably between semi-coherent rage (Harnisch says he often writes when symptomatic) and cool detachment, and it deploys several forms: Harnisch's sexually-charged fiction (Claudia is "a slow-moving serpent with a tongue of fire and the ass of a bombshell"); a 106-page screenplay featuring dialogues between Ben and his old antagonists, and with his life-saving therapist, "Dr. C"; self-lacerating entries from "Georgie Gust's" 2005 diary, and the author's clear explanations of his condition, apparently written at moments when his symptoms have subsided. 
At times, Harnisch is energized by the very power of his illness. "The mind and the sickness is all so sublime," he writes, "the heart of living, colorful beauty." But in his most lucid moments, this brave and eloquent writer struggles mightily to escape the dark woods of madness: "As always, my journey continues, on and on."
-- BlueInk Review
 
Harnisch's words and images dance vividly and repeat themselves in strange succession; even his most self-conscious writing has rhythmic energy and flair.
Jonathan Harnisch doesn't so much showcase literary genius as he grapples with it in his experimental autobiography, Second Alibi: The Banality of Life. Genius is a creative spirit he chases. When he gets his hands on it, when genius possesses him, the results are stunning. Parts of Second Alibi radiate with originality.
With a self-referential postmodern style reminiscent of William Burroughs, Harnisch chronicles his hell-bent search for personal truth. Diagnosed with schizophrenia and other mental disorders, he explores all aspects of his personality: his alter ego, Ben; his alter ego's alter ego, Georgie; and their mutual love interest, Claudia. Harnisch wrangles to the page episodes of madness and lucidity, hospitalizations, hallucinations, love affairs. He searches every experience for meaning, sometimes exhaustively, and offers up whatever truth he can.
If there's fault in Harnisch's methodology, it's that he overanalyzes and micromanages his own creative process. For example, the book's third act flounders in a sea of platitudinous journal entries about living with mental illness, the writing process, the progress of his manuscript, and his ultimate aspirations as a writer. Although well-intentioned, the entries become preening and laborious. At one point, the author admits, "I feel like I am forcing this writing."
The book's first and second acts are much stronger--the first relayed in stream-of-consciousness passages, and the second in the form of a screenplay. In the first act, Harnisch produces the stuff of poetry. His words and images dance vividly and repeat themselves in strange succession: "The living, colorful sound of the mysterious telephone still haunts us, even me. It rings and rings, again and again." In these passages, even his most self-conscious writing has rhythmic energy and flair: "The sensation of sensational sex and blue movies, the characters and chaos, onslaughts of sketches, prototypes ... of expanding pounding putty and pus, some sex and violence. I'm built for it."
The second act, the screenplay, offers the book's most absorbing and sharply written drama. Harnisch appears to be a natural in the medium, exploring past trauma through scene and dialogue. The screenplay ends with amazing profundity. "And sometimes you just have to listen to the sounds of your life," Ben says. "That kind of silence. That deep remarkable hollow stuff."
Second Alibi provides an honest window into the "hollow stuff." Harnisch is at his best, though, when he leaves his inner critic behind and allows his creativity to color the world around him.
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews
 
 
Watch Now:
20
Dec

Second Alibi | The Banality of Life by Jonathan Harnisch | Preview

Jonathan Harnisch's struggles with his mental health conditions are interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers, which provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalizing the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand. As an author with schizophrenia, Jonathan Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality. His main characters, Ben Schreiber and Georgie Gust, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.

00:0000:00
20
Dec

SECOND ALIBI JONATHAN HARNISCH | FINÁLE | TIME. THE END. RATHER, NO END…

Jonathan Harnisch's struggles with his mental health conditions are interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers, which provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalizing the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand. As an author with schizophrenia, Jonathan Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality. His main characters, Ben Schreiber and Georgie Gust, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.

00:0000:00
19
Dec

INTRODUCING LIVING COLORFUL BEAUTY BY JONATHAN HARNISCH

INTRODUCING LIVING COLORFUL BEAUTY BY JONATHAN HARNISCH (AUTHOR) PAPERBACK – OCTOBER 19, 2015 | EDITORIAL BOOK REVIEWS | RATING: 5 STARS - BOOK REVIEW BY ANNA CALL https://www.forewordreviews.com/rev…/living-colorful-beauty/
Genre: Literary › Mental Health › Schizophrenia
Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride.
In Living Colorful Beauty, author Jonathan Harnisch tells the story of Ben, a man diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, schizoaffective disorder, and several other issues. Ever since his youth, Ben has been both plagued by mental illness and obsessed with venality. As he navigates through an unstable, directionless life and leaves a string of shattered romances in his wake, he generates a fictional character, Georgie Gust, to deal with his many paraphilias and neuroses. But with the introduction of a new psychotherapist, Ben may have a chance to let go of his doppelgänger as well as his overwhelming insecurity.
Though the book is saturated with Ben's sexuality, its prevailing theme is actually his struggle to come to terms with his mental health. The entire book reads like a Freudian therapy session, so the ultimate resolution of Ben's problems is appropriate. Ben's internal creative process is integral to the book's effectiveness, since much of the psychoanalysis Ben receives seems to come from himself through the lens of his fictional creation, Georgie. The book features an almost claustrophobic amount of of navel-gazing, which may be intentional. At times, the reading experience leaves no doubt as to how the book's main character could drive himself crazy with his recursive, obsessive self-examination.
Ben and Georgie have an interesting and nuanced relationship. At times Ben seems completely unable to control his double while simultaneously being one with him. He often reassures himself that his creation is the inferior man, citing Georgie's pumpkin-like body as the reason that nobody will ever want him. On the other hand, of the two of them, Georgie seems to have the more active love life. Ben reaches for emotional intimacy through relationship after relationship, but his illness, issues with women, and physical demands--the Georgie in him--constantly hamper his progress.
As the narrator, Ben's point of view colors all of the other characters. Several of these, in addition to Georgie, are or may be fictional, mere expressions of Ben's illness. This is especially true of the women in Ben's life. There are comparatively very few men in this story, but the women are usually of a seductive and even predatory type. Ben aggressively sizes up the ladies he knows, from his girlfriends to his therapist, in terms of their attractiveness, perhaps in an attempt to balance the scales, since in his own perception, women are domineering copies of his own terrifying mother. Part of Ben's evolution is to move toward a valuing of women beyond his mother issues, a satisfying direction for this character to travel.
Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride that ends on a hopeful note. It may interest fans of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins.
ANNA CALL (November 19, 2015)
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews
This short novel by New Mexico writer Jonathan Harnisch features the same urgent anguish—and the same disturbing characters—as the author’s 803-page, semi-autobiographical rampage through sexual obsession, schizophrenia and healing, Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography. Good news: Living Colorful Beauty stands on its own, serving as a vivid introduction to this gifted, if flawed, writer’s teeming mind.
In 30-year-old Benjamin J. Schreiber, who suffers (like Harnisch) from schizoaffective disorder and Tourette’s Syndrome, the author has created a brilliant and memorable psychotic. In reckless Georgie Gust, he delivers a convincing alter-ego to whom Ben can transfer “my confessionary details, my sins, my fetishes.” As in Alibiography, their destructive common fantasy is the cruel, manipulative siren Claudia Nesbitt. Their possible salvation? An insightful shrink called Dr. C.
Once again, Harnisch’s prose is simultaneously original and confusing: ”the words in my head have turned to salad,” Ben tells us, but “my imagination’s on fire.” Careening between New York and Southern California, and even more wildly between the searing traumas of Ben’s childhood and the perilous uncertainties of his present, the narrative reveals a tormented soul who is “merely a spy, an observer, into the world of my hallucinations” but who can sometimes make peace with his demons. “Let me lose my mind,” Ben muses. “Fuck it. I’m going out for a walk on the beach. The beach is a block away. The voices in my head are raging. They’re calling me a winner.”
For Harnisch, who playfully calls himself “the king of mental illness,” writing fiction is clearly therapeutic. An editor character tells Ben: “The problem though is that your reader cannot possibly follow your train of thought,” and that’s often our problem, too. But the authenticity of Harnisch’s voice bursts through the tangles and repetitions of his language. He’s the real thing.
-- BlueInk Review
List Price: $8.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
00:0000:00
15
Dec

ON THE BUS ON TV

ON THE BUS ON TV
I invite you to watch the last rerun of my Academy Award (Oscar®) qualifying short film, the noted award-winning psychological thriller, On the Bus. It plays live on prime time TV with me, for the first time this weekend! It is now live on Vimeo Pro as well. I am so proud! Wax showed twice that day and On the Bus aired 3 times, along with yet another television show I did, also on frequent reruns. If a schizophrenic can do it, anyone can! THANK YOU! —Jonathan Harnisch smile emoticon
‘Award-winning executive producer and screenwriter, Jonathan Harnisch's first viewing, reaction and commentary of his Academy Award (Oscar®) Qualifying psychological thriller, On the Bus on live on DIRECTV®.’
Distributed worldwide by Shorts International. In the vein of Christopher Nolan’s MEMENTO comes ON THE BUS (2015) Fat Man Media’s psychological thriller about the experiences of Larry (Mark Schrier), a mentally disturbed man, who rides a bus and bothers passengers based on recent circumstances in his life. The film’s surprise ending startles the audience and ties the fragmented story together to a dramatic conclusion. Harnisch's WAX & ON THE BUS TV channels available w/ AT&T HD PREMIER TIER PACKAGE and can be viewed on Channel 1789. Otherwise DIRECTV® HD EXTRA PACK and can be viewed on Channel 568.
About Jonathan Harnisch:
Initially diagnosed with depression in 1994 at the age of 18, I was prescribed antidepressants, including the newest of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Unfortunately, these triggered mania, and to combat this, I began to drink, which intensified my psychological instability and led to an addiction that I was finally able to overcome when I was 26.
However, as difficult as the disorders have been, in many ways, I have been blessed. Many call me a gifted artist, and I have frequently used my art to exorcise my own demons of isolation and loneliness. In 1998, I dramatized those issues in my award-winning film, Ten Years, which I produced, directed, and wrote while attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
In 2008, I once again dramatized those themes of isolation and loneliness in another award-winning film, On the Bus, which, in addition, explores the horrors and chaos of mental illness. Through the eyes of the main character Larry, we see the uncontrollable, tumultuous symptoms of schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as brought on by a random act of violence.
A single act of violence rarely causes severe mental illness. Current research indicates that such illness is generally a result of a genetic predisposition combined with environmental factors. My case would seem to validate that research, as there is a history of mental illness in my family, and I have suffered repeated trauma. Whatever the genesis, beginning in 2009 and culminating in the summer of 2010, I experienced a severe psychotic episode that manifested in inappropriate, violent outbursts and regnant destructive behavior. Ultimately, however, this episode brought me the help I needed, including a comprehensive psychological work-up that provided an accurate diagnosis and the right medication. Now, psychologically stable, I invite others to behold my candid daily encounters with the symptoms of schizophrenia.
In the past, I have been known to willingly and genuinely share my life. In the same vein as prolific figures such as Elyn R. Saks, Kay Redfield Jamison, and Oliver Sacks, I continue to illustrate my personal ongoing struggle with chronic mental illness nurturing truth, acceptance, fiction, transgression, and community.
My art, imagination, and various creative outlets are simply my own catalysts for continuous resiliency and recovery. With the launch of my now former and viral website (as of December 2013), I had turned another engaging and uplifting page of my story. I hoped to impact others in some way through my publicized journey of how one individual copes with the perpetual rollercoaster of the experiences living with schizophrenia and Tourette’s syndrome, some material stranger than fiction.
I consider myself a still-recovering schizophrenic, an accomplished writer, producer, and musician, who writes about mental illness and New Age ideas and treatments, and again a darker side, a much darker side, to which you will likely bear witness. Alas, my Alibiography.
— Jonathan Harnisch

Watch Now: