Are You a Genius?

Doodle

First, a brief update because I’ve been silent here for the last six weeks. I’ve been, and still am, so thoroughly depressed that I’m not capable of writing any of my usual brilliant stuff. Sorry.

    My psychiatrist is going to put me on heavier antidepressants and if all goes well, the new pills should begin to have effect a few weeks from now. I intend to be back here as soon as I’m a little better again. Thanks for your patience, once again.

Reading Tip

Instead of trying to write something myself now, I’d like to give you a link to an interesting article that was published a few days ago in The Atlantic. It’s a long but pleasant read, written by a true professional, University of Iowa neuroscientist and psychiatrist Nancy Coover Andreasen: Secrets of the Creative Brain.

    Her article is based (among other things) on personal analysis of well-known creative personalities from the realm of arts and science. She asks herself where true creativity comes from, whether it is true that there is a relation between creative genius and mental illness (brief answer: yes, statistics do indeed suggest this is the case) and why such a relation exists.

    This really is intriguing reading stuff, not just because it is refreshingly factual but also because every once in a while, you may be tempted to draw some personal parallels. For example, when Andreasen referred to the relatively very high frequency of mood disorders among poets, I suddenly had to think of my own sister who killed herself in her thirties: she also wrote poetry.

    This immediately calls for an obvious warning: sadly, the simple fact that you are suffering from depression does not automatically imply that you’re a creative genius yourself. If only that were true…

    Well, I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy Andreasen’s thoughts on the links between creativity and mental illness.

Music

For reasons I’d rather not explain, I am not going to offer you a depression-related song as background music today.

    Is it possible to be conventional and creative at the same time? And can we stick to ancient almost-rigid formulas, while at the same time kindling a few emotions?

    As an answer, here is the famous Portuguese fado singer Amália Rodrigues (1920-1999) with her classic beach love song Barco Negro (“Black Boat”). With my best wishes to you all: take care.

Amalia Rodrigues 
Amália Rodrigues – Barco Negro


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