Divine Madness: Ten Stories of Creative Struggle
December 2005, Jossey-Bass
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—From the Introduction
Why do some extraordinary individuals overcome mental anguish and produce brilliant creative artistry that is often enhanced by their madness? New York Times best-selling author and noted psychologist Jeffrey Kottler explores this fascinating question in Divine Madness. His book is filled with the compelling stories of emotional turmoil that many great artists have undergone as they struggle for success and survival.
Jeffrey Kottler writes about the dramatic and tragic lives of cultural icons Sylvia Plath, Judy Garland, Mark Rothko, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Charles Mingus, Vaslav Nijinsky, Marilyn Monroe, Lenny Bruce, and Brian Wilson. In this riveting book, Kottler highlights the personal story of each of these extraordinary individuals and analyzes how they struggled to overcome their emotional hardships.
Divine Madness clearly differentiates between those who surrendered to their illness, often taking their own lives, and those who managed to endure and even recover. Kottler details how their profound psychological issues affected their lives and work, their great productivity and success, and how they strove to achieve some kind of personal stability.
The fascinating and brilliantly told stories in Divine Madness help us to find meaning in the incredible lives of these artists. They also serve as an inspiration for those who are grappling to rise above their own challenges and limitations and express themselves more productively and creatively.