“Spiritualist Criterium” DeWitt State Hostpital Diatribe

Robert M. Clark, Formerly Sherif [sic], Ventura County, Califonia [sic]
DeWitt State Hospital, Placer County, California
March 16th 1954
Size: 9" (w) x 12" (h)
A fascinating seven page document written by a patient at the DeWitt State Hospital, California (the same hospital and period in which Martín Ramírez was institutionalized). The patient identifies as a “Robert M. Clark, former sherif [sic] of Ventura County,” and writes to “Dr. C. R. Jackson, MD In Charge” about a “morphinism disturbance.” He weaves in a cast of characters and a convoluted story involving morphine, prohibition and the Baptist Synod of Los Angeles to name a few details. The overuse of quote marks is quite remarkable—almost every word is surrounded by " - "s.

The writing reminds one of William S. Burroughs’ morphine driven Dadaists vignettes of the 1950’s. It’s vivid and at times quite engaging with some well structured thoughts and colorful phrases, however the whole is somewhat incohesive and difficult to follow—yet spellbinding!

The back of the pages are reinforced with white hospital tape and the wear indicates that the document was likely carried around and read aloud or "performed" many times over. Full PDF transcription available HERE.

Mounted to a vintage legal size masonite clipboard.


Condition: Very-good to excellent, full document intact, with some minor tissue reinforcements to the back sides of pages.

Price: $2,800.00

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