Memoirs

Art and madness by Jose Guimon

By Jose Guimon

Artwork and insanity deals a severe overview of present theories at the courting among inventive creativity and the psychiatric disturbances that could prefer this creativity, the psychodynamic mechanisms proposed through psychoanalysts to provide an explanation for creativity, and the psychosociological elements that play a job in creativity

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He suggests that this may be the reason why some artists never succumb to madness. The special characteristic of creative people, according to him, is that they have an easy access to their internal world and that they do not ‘repress’ it to the same extent as most people. When they are capable of creating, they certainly do not feel overwhelmed because of this creativity, but rather they dominate it.

As we will observe in the following chapters, many artists have created their work when they were experiencing the sensation of depersonalization. Some of these were schizoid personages such as Lautreamont, and on other occasions the feelings had been sought by taking psychedelic substances. Finally, the society of masses in the modern world jeopardizes individualism, triggering reactions which seek for differentiation via the adoption of behavior patterns which are creative to a greater or lesser extent.

However, attributing such abilities to psychosis does not eliminate the almost magical character of the inspiration. A similar situation seems to have arisen in the cases of Camille Saint-Saëns and Felix Mendelssohn. Example 6. Camille Saint-Saëns The French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (Jourdain, 1987) started playing the piano when he was two-and-a-half years old, and was not only an accomplished composer, but skilled in all kinds of learning processes from the age of three. At seven he spoke Latin fluently and it is said that a simple reading was enough for him to retain the content of a book or symphony for life.

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