Thursday, September 11, 2008

Madness Melancholy etc.

There is a nice review-essay on manic-depressive illness by Oliver Sacks in the latest new york review of books. It is actually a review of a memoir written by father about her daughter's bouts with the illness:

"One may call it mania, madness, or psychosis—a chemical imbalance in the brain—but it presents itself as energy of a primordial sort. Greenberg likens it to "being in the presence of a rare force of nature, such as a great blizzard or flood: destructive, but in its way astounding too." Such unbridled energy can resemble that of creativity or inspiration or genius—this, indeed, is what Sally feels is rushing through her—not an illness, but the apotheosis of health, the release of a deep, previously suppressed self."

Rather disappointingly NYRB these days seems to contain mostly "topical" essays. Feels like a waste to me.

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