Crazy, creative or cool?

Based on Deb's recommendation, I immediately purchased The Van Gogh Blues because I found the idea that creative people must make meaning or slog about all peckish and seratonin-deprived deprived, strangely, um, familiar. Though I've just started the book (and taken umbrage that the author all but dismisses the biochemical underpinnings of some mental illness), I think he's on to something.

But, of course, so was Sartre.

As an undergraduate, I used the essay linked above as a jumping off point for my thesis, where I showed (or attempted to show) how three fictional heroes--Garp being one--used humor as their vehicle for making meaning. That was a few years ago--five or six at the most--and it's heartening to see someone like Eric Maisel really look at the existential imperative and apply it to artists and crafty types.

I suspect that there are a lot of knit bloggers out there who can relate. Many of us are knitters and cooks, writers, artists, poets, scientists, soapmakers, gardeners and designers, people who can't implement their ideas fast enough. When I'm feeling my best, ideas and inspiration come like spring rain. When I'm wallowing in self pity, fear or sloth--I couldn't find a good idea if it came up and bit me. 

Since I haven't finished the book, I'm not sure how Maisel solves the mewling, crabby artist part, but it's interesting to me as I look around our little corner of blogville, how interested you'all are in so many things--books, ideas, music, food, politics, media, yoga, philanthropy, art, and yes, yarn and kitties.

Does this mean we're crazy, creative or just cool?


The quintessential comic existential hero 

Comments (3) -

February 28. 2008 02:32


Antone looks like the poster cat for soulful introspection, but he's probably just thinking about how he can unravel your latest knitty creation!! (It is really a fab photo!)

Susan |

February 28. 2008 14:54


I think he's saying, "If I were President everyone would have lots and lots of wet food!  After all, existence before essence.


Sue |

February 29. 2008 10:35


Hmm. I didn't see him dismissing biochemistry, but he may have come down a little hard on the "that's not the only thing going on here" chord because lots of people are now saying it's *only* biochemistry. If you're swimming against the stream, you might need to splash a bit not to be swept back to the sea.

Deborah Robson |

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