Creativity and Disease: How Illness Affects Literature, Art, and Music

Creativity and Disease: How Illness Affects Literature, Art, and Music

Creativity and Disease: How Illness Affects Literature, Art, and Music

Creativity and Disease: How Illness Affects Literature, Art, and Music

Synopsis

Dr. Sandblom explores the intriguing connections between illness, art and creativity. He elucidates the ways in which specific ailments affect the creative personality. Discussing the influence of mental illness, physical infirmity, pain and addiction on 140 authors, artists and composers-among them Byron, Dostoyevsky and William Styron, artists Goya, Klee and Monet, and composers Mozart, Schumann and Beethoven. In this twelfth revised and enlarged edition of a ground-breaking study on the life and work of some of our greatest artists, Dr Philip Sandblom explores the intriguing connections between illness, art and creativity. He elucidates the ways in which specific ailments inform and influence the creative personality and discusses the effects of mental illness, drug addiction and severe pain on 140 authors, artists and composers. Many outstanding talents are discussed - among them Byron, Walter Scott, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Proust and William Saroyan, the artists Goya, Frida Kahlo, Klee, Matisse and Monet, and the composers Mozart, Schumann and Beethoven. Heavily illustrated, the book contains over 100 paintings and drawings in color and black and white. Dr Philip Sandblom was born in Chicago in 1903 and educated in Sweden where he became professor of surgery and, later, President of the University of Lund. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgery in England, Edinburgh and Ireland, and of the American College of Surgeons. 'The fantastic erudition of this volume is heightened by the simplicity of its style: informal, chatty, with sly wit, impressive in range and content."?Annals of Surgery

Excerpt

The treatise by my admired friend Philip Sandblom on "Creativity and Disease", for which I have been asked to write a short preface, testifies to the advantage of an interdisciplinary approach to a humanistic theme that could not be adequately studied from one side only. the author carries the ideal prerequisites for such an approach by being at the same time an internationally renowned surgeon and a life-long lover of art for art's own sake.

Sandblom's double competence as a physician and an art connoisseur -- both activities for which the eye is the supreme tool -- asserts itself on every page of this book. It is indeed fascinating to follow under his guidance the mysterious links, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, that exist between illness and creativity, in the past as well as in present time, in literature and music, as well as in art.

The richness of the theme, which in an almost kaleidoscopic fashion assumes ever new patterns, will, I am confident, appeal to both medical and humanistic readers. in fact, one of the merits of this book is that the author has been able to treat his subject both with serious understanding and with something of the liveliness of an informal talk. It is clearly by an author who has read much, seen much, heard much and thought much about the whole issue. Happily free from sentimentality, he invites us to share with him a deeper insight into many of art history's most poignant life stories. Once you start reading, you will not easily put the book aside before having finished it.

Carl Nordenfalk; Ph.D. Former Director of the Swedish National Museum . . .

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