"I have taken two bottles of sleeping pills with a jug of Gatorade in the bathroom of the engineering building of the U of M. My body became unbearably hot, moistened by heaps of sweat, I wanted to vomit; but, since I hadn't eaten in days, nothing came up except this bitter tasting rot, mucus-like in texture."Shortly before his sixteenth birthday, young writer Basil Pierce Dawson, drifting from city to city, overdoses on drugs and is admitted to the psychiatric unit at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota."Fantasie Maniaco-Melancolique: Volume I: The Plant and Virus Family," the first of six volumes in a modern experimental work, chronicles the life of this talented and troubled artist with borderline personality disorder. Comprised of missives, autobiographical fiction, and poetry, "Volume I" creates a complex transactional mindscape of the startling parallels among the lives of Basil, the characters he begins to sketch out, and Jakob Jansen-a homeless music student who later reads Basil's novel and feels compelled to face his traumatic childhood."Volume I: The Plant and Virus Family" serves as a preamble and introduces the recurring themes of abuse, homelessness, mental illness, the search for individuality, and artistic creation recapitulated throughout the entirety of the "Fantasie Maniaco-Melancolique" series.
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