Site icon Marcos M. Villatoro

Art and Madness

George Gordon Lord Byron, British poet, suffered from manic depression and from it wrote some of the finest romantic poetry of English literature.

There are studies on the connection between the artistic impulse and mental illness. The best are books written by Kay Redfield Jamison, especially her “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.”

In that book, she charts hundreds of writers, from George Gordon Lord Byron to Virginia Woolf, and reveals how the mental illness played a role in their writing.

In this podcast, I speak about my own struggles with manic-depression, and how it has played a role in my own impulse to write, my own need to get words on the page that reflect whatever’s in my head. It relieves the pressure; and, if I’m lucky, it’ll make for a good piece of literature.

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