Friday, October 10, 2008

Madness and Art

I would like to write a lot about Foucault and Madness and Art, but I have a midterm to write...I think there are many connections between those works and ideas that are those that form the framework of an episteme are almost always created by "madness" or at least those typified as being "mad". There's a unique change, as I see it, in our readiness to ascribe "mental illness" on to people in contemporary society, lumping together people who are sad, or anxious, or those who talk to ourselves, or who have multiple personalities as all "suffering" from the same affliction. Additionally, we medicate away pain that possibly, in an earlier era, could have created great art. Now we numb and hide and diffuse all of these strong emotions. Having been heavily medicated at different times in my life for such "ailments" I wonder whether I would have been better off letting madness run through me, letting whatever came of that experience be the end, ultimately or not.

Recently a study at Stanford tried to get at this question, whether or not madness and art are interconnected, and the results are pretty interesting. Read about it here.


Scott Abbott said...

just read your post and the article about Wallace. We'll try, as the next couple of weeks unfold, to get at some of these questions, although they'll remain questions for the most part.