Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Multiple Personality

Modern psychotherapy recognizes multiple-personality disorder as a form of mental illness, often confused in common parlance with schizophrenia. Although rare, it has an obvious literary appeal, and is frequently invoked as a device in murder mysteries, as in The Florentine Dagger (1923) by Ben Hecht and Methinks the Lady (1945) by Guy Endore. It is a particularly common device in the cinema, where the influence of the dramatized case-study The Three Faces of Eve (1957) and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) was carried forward to implausible thrillers like Color of Night (1994). Some Timeslip stories have an MP element, after the fashion of Charlotte Sometimes (1969) by Penelope Farmer. A particularly extreme example is featured in "Schizoid Creator" (1953) by Clark Ashton Smith. Further texts of relevance are S P Somtow's Moon Dance (1989) and Dave Duncan's A Man of His Word tetralogy. [BS]

see also: Bewitched (1945); Wilkie Collins; Doubles; Eyes of Laura Mars (1978); Identity Exchange; Invisible Companions; Possession.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.