General Fiction posted December 24, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
My mind wanders...

A Strain Of Madness

by Maria Jose Garcia

I should probably be writing about the joys of the season and, while I feel them, I've been lost in philosophical thought since yesterday.

I'm in the countryside, sitting in front of my computer, watching the leaves falling from the trees. It's getting dark now and I cannot help remembering a documentary I watched last night and that started the musings I mentioned before.

In March, I'm doing an English Lit course and to prepare for it, I decided to do some research on Virginia Woolf.

This lady and her life and death have always intrigued me, but the reason I'm writing this short post goes beyond this exceptional author.

As many of you know, she battled with depression and other more serious mental health problems all her life. However, she's not the only creative person I know who faced or is facing this kind of issue.

Mary Lambe, who wrote Tales from Shakespeare with her brother Charles, killed her mother in a fit of rage. Yes, I know, this is an extreme case...

But what about Sylvia Plath? She was beautiful, intelligent and yet she killed herself. Well, learning her husband was being unfaithful certainly was a contributing factor...

And what about the flamboyant, life-loving Hemingway? Why did he end up committing suicide?

This is not the first time I think about the link between creativity and mental health, but I have asked a couple of doctors in the past and they both dismissed it. However, there are studies on this topic and they seem to conclude that there is a connection between the two.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be scientific, just putting a few thoughts into words. I'm sorry if you think I have chosen the holidays to be morbid.

I want to leave you with a quote from Aristotle: "No great genius has ever existed without a strain of madness." I wonder if he was right.



You can find the documentary at:
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