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the cinnamon peeler's wife

2.21.2005 at 12:44:00 PM

she would buy the flowers herself: creativity or psychoses



this is not really what i wanted to post about. but somehow it seems relevant. i remember standing on fountain's square with my dad one winter morning many years ago and somehow we were discussing the correlation between genius and psychoses. well maybe not actually psychoses, but definitely an inherent tendency towards reclusivity/moodiness/eccentricity (euphemisms for some sort of psychosis?). it sparked my interest, is there some sort of geometric relationship between the level of creative genius and psychoses. when i was in research, i did read some papers that found a positive correlation. i think i still have some of them. almost all that argued for a strong correlation were careful to exclude direct causation, i.e. there is no proof that one causes the other. or is it just that when the person is a genius, we tend to notice their acute social psychoses in greater detail? what if it is rather the scrutiny that a creative genius faces that leads to the withdrawal from the world? maybe it's just mind-altering drugs...

anyway a pioneer in gonzo journalism passed on sunday: dr. hunter s. thompson. he is renown for his strange ways, his drug use, and his biting commentary. he took his life in his home with a gun from his small armory, surrounded by his prized peacocks. read his the rum diary, fear and loathing in lv, fear and loathing on the campaign trail, the great shark hunt, hell's angels, and more. was it the creative genius, the drugs, or just life? and a fitting quote by thompson: "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over".

last week i watched the hours. i know it is old, but my roommate just happened to rent it. the movie has 3 women dealing with suicide in different ways. i had read mrs. dalloway in college (in a modern british lit class) and had enjoyed woolf, as well as waugh and d.h. lawrence. i have never read the hours, which inspired the movie, but i really liked the splicing of three stories. woolf, was herself a creative genius who was haunted by her own demons. she heard voices and was often anxious to the point of sickness. her own demons forced her to move away from bloomsbury (where one could argue existed a modernist literary and artistic cooperative like no other of its time). after several attempts throughout her life and several diagnoses from her doctors, woolf took her life in the river ouse, near sussex, in 1941. she is quoted in her note to her husband as writing: "I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been". the movie made me want to go back to mrs. dalloway. i was at my parents' house this weekend and found the book in the stacks of my college books in the basement. re-reading part of the book made me like the movie even more. mrs. dalloway goes through her day with the confidence that leads all to believe that she is stable and mentally sound, all the while hiding her own insecurities and inner turmoil. yet in the end it is the poet septimus that commits suicide, leaving mrs. dalloway at her party.

from woolf's waves (her husband chose these words for her memorial plaque): "Death is the enemy. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!" The waves broke on the shore."

i have no thesis here, just rambling. random things connecting in my head.

(p.s. for those who skipped my babbling- frosted animal cookies are grrrrrreat.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. sometimes people put up/knock down crosses at fountain square.
2. is mrs dalloway similar to anyone we know, captain insano?  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i) I am incredibly geniusy like and I am very socially adept.

ii) On a completely different note I haven't crawled into any suitcases while crying incessantly today - SCORE!  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing by Thompson that I've read is "fear and loathing on the campaign trail" which I enjoyed.

-SR  

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