Divine Madness

Tony O’Brien in Metapsychology:

Why are so many creative people apparently crazy? Is mental illness, for some people, a doorway to creativity, something that unlocks latent genius that would otherwise lie dormant? Jeffrey A Kottler attempts to answer this question in Divine Madness, Ten Stories of Creative Struggle. The book presents ten case studies of well-known artists, using the term in a broad sense. They are all people who have pushed their creative talents to the limits. In most cases they finally lost the struggle, and died at their own hand or as a consequence of drug abuse. Their lives pose questions about creativity, about suffering, and about art. Finding answers is very much harder.

The individuals Kottler chooses to study are a mixed group of writers, visual artists, and performing artists. Their names are familiar: Plath, Woolf, Munroe, Garland, Nikinsky, Hemingway and others, a roll call of the famously mad.

More here.