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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
terry oggel <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 18 Sep 1995 10:17:57 -0400
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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>I just noticed a peripheral appearance of Mark Twain in a back issue
>of _Scientific American_ ("Manic-Depressive Illness and Creativity,"
>February 1995, pp. 62-67).  The first two pages have a montage of
>artists and writers, including Plath, Whitman, van Gogh, Woolf, Hesse,
>Poe, Hemingway, and--guess who?--Mark Twain.
>The caption on p. 63 reads:
>     Writers, artists and composers shown in this montage all most likely
>     suffered from manic-depressive illness or major depressive illness,
>     according to their letters and journals, medical records and accounts
>     by their families and friends.  Recent studies indicate that the
>     temperaments and cognitive styles associated with mood disorders can
>     in fact enhance creativity in some individuals.
>The picture of Twain is the dark and grumpy one from the frontisipiece
>of _Which Was the Dream? And Other Symbolic Writings of the Later
>Years_.  Unfortunately, Twain isn't mentioned in the text of the
>Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
Twain's manic depressiveness (now called bi-polar mood disorder, I believe)
seems to be well established.  A full length study of it a few years ago,
Touched with Fire, by Reynolds (I believe; I can't recall the full name;
might be Jamison; one is the middle and the other the last name) included
Clemens along with about 75 painters, poets, composers, musicians, etc. who
suffered from this affliction.  Plato's "divine madness."  Now diagnosable
and treatable with drugs.  Alas, for the individual that's good, to be able
to have it treated; but for the rest of humanity, much great art is lost, no
terry oggel    [log in to unmask]