I picked up the magazine not for the Obama love-fest on the cover, but for the feature on the last days of David Foster Wallace, who I consider to be one of the great writers of our time. The article is an interesting and heartbreaking look at someone who was a genius, but also had some really dark, evil demons following his every move.
It admittedly got me to thinking about all the great writers I know and love. Hunter S. Thompson, Anne Lamott, Tom Robbins, Terry Pratchett. Out of that list, one writer killed himself, another one had a drug and alcohol addiction, one's a hippie nutjob at times, and well, one's British and sees the world in odd ways.
Other great writers and artists had demons following them around -- Hemmingway killed himself. Sylvia Plath died by her own hand also. There's plenty others we can name, and maybe even others that aren't so famous, toiling away trying to make it.
I started reflecting on my own life -- I don't have the same disorders that plagued some of my favorite writers, but admittedly, you can't say that I'm of a "normal" mindset. I've gotten some funks that required outside perspective to get my mind right.
Then I stumbled on a CNN article where experts ponder that connection:
So, I guess, knowing the creative types that peruse this blog, I gotta toss out the question: Do you think there's a connection or not? Why?
Creative people in the arts must develop a deep sensitivity to their surroundings -- colors, sounds, and emotions, says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor of psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Such hypersensitivity can lead people to worry about things that other people don't worry about as much, he said, and can lead to depression.