...the end of the twentieth century seems to have come up with another disorder, schizophrenia, a psychic rather than a nervous disorder, as if it had been reading not (or not only) Hegel and Freud but [Nietzschean] Foucault and [Lacanian] Deleuze. Repeatedly evoked to describe a range of contemporary cultural phenomena, schizophrenia is best understood in linguistic terms as a snapping of the signifying chain that relates words in sense-making sequences. With syntax shattered, only scattered textual bits and pieces (signifieds) remain. Schizophrenia shatters that other form of syntagmatic continuity as well -- history -- leaving behind scattered temporal bits and pieces (immediacies). I'm not sure whether one can still think of the century in human terms -- humanoid, perhaps -- for schizophrenic language, memory, and feeling are transformed beyond recognition.
Margreta de Grazia
1590: Fin-de-Siècle Renaissance England
from Fins de Siècle: English Poetry in 1590, 1690, 1790, 1890, 1990
Elaine Scarry, ed.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995, p48