- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; New Ed edition (3 Dec. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 068483183X
- ISBN-13: 978-0684831831
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
48,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #95 in Books > Art, Architecture & Photography > History & Criticism > Criticism
- #192 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Social Issues > Social Welfare & Services
- #231 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > Applied Psychology > Clinical Psychology
Touched With Fire: Manic-depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament Paperback – 3 Dec 1996
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The anguished and volatile intensity associated with the artistic temperament was once thought to be a symptom of genius or eccentricity peculiar to artists, writers and musicians. Kay Jamison's work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic-depressive illness. Jamison presents proof of the biological foundations of this disease and applies what is known about the illness to the lives and works of some of the world's greatest artists including Byron, Van Gogh, Schumann and Woolf.
About the Author
Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, is the bestselling author of An Unquiet Mind, Touched with Fire, and other books. She is a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and has been named a “Hero of Medicine” by Time.
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We cannot all be Tennessee Williams, Ezra Pound, Van Gogh, Lord Byron or whomever else she puts under the yoke of Bipolar Disorder. Nonetheless, she reveals some of the "silver linings" of Bipolar Disorder - one which is the experience heightened emotional states; if you are a young artist perusing the reviews and considering purchasing this work, I would advise that you do so. Ms Jamison, as a sufferer, captures the experience of the condition succinctly while providing a series of case studies on the subject. If you're at all literary-minded, the book should be a joy of itself, but if you also suffer from the condition, you will discover another layer of fascination and poignancy to the work.
This review is not meant to discourage would-be readers who have not experienced or witnessed this condition. It is a superb work, and if you're curious, I would advise that you feed your fascination!
A classic text, this is the second time I have bought it as my first copy was lost.
Good insights from probably the person who knows best what it all feels like.
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