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View Diary: Thursday Classical Music OPUS 64: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (part 2) (115 comments)

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  •  Reading this got me to wonder (1+ / 0-)
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    if we see such a relationship between madness and genius because people with such massive talent have a far greater public visibility.

    Began to wonder if the occurrence of such 'madness' amongst the 'average' population is similar to what it is amongst those who we call genius.

    •  There are some that will (2+ / 0-)
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      ozsea1, NYFM

      say that it is much higher amongst the "geniuses."  I use quotes because that word gives me the creeps, personally.  Icky word.

      Here's a book I haven't read by Kay Redfield Jamison.  When I was diagnosed bipolar, my doc gave me a copy of her bestseller, An Unquiet Mind.  

      Book Description
      Publication Date: October 18, 1996
      The anguished and volatile intensity associated with the artistic temperament was once thought to be a symptom of genius or eccentricity peculiar to artists, writers and musicians. Kay Jamison's work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic-depressive illness. Jamison presents proof of the biological foundations of this disease and applies what is known about the illness to the lives and works of some of the world's greatest artists including Byron, Van Gogh, Schumann and Woolf.

      Now, to be fair and objective, there are some questions that should be considered about attempts to label famous people as bipolar.  Is this just a case of bipolars too eagerly giving "free membership" cards to dead geniuses in order to pad the ranks?  It's not like Beethoven can rise from the grave and argue about it and claim he was just high on drugs.  

      But Beethoven's a pretty cut and dry case.  Some of the others, not so clear.  

      •  This topic is taking me to all kinds of places (2+ / 0-)
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        Dumbo, NYFM

        I also thought it interesting that in one article speaks about lead poisoning.

        Beethoven's hair was found laden with extremely high level of lead. The hair analysis was performed at the McCrone Research Institute and the Argonne National Laboratory, usa. The findings revealed that Beethoven had plumbism (lead poisoning), which may have caused his life-long illnesses, impacted his personality and possibly contributed to his death.

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