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By S. Stone Horton

Affective sickness and the Writing existence interrogates the mythos of the 'mad author' via lived adventure, literary research, writerly mirrored image and modern neuroscience. It explores how affective issues color, force and occasionally silence the writing brain – and the way affective distinction has constantly knowledgeable the literary mind's eye.

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Later Greek poets invoked a Muse at the beginning of an epic story to guide the teller. As works were written down and could be studied, copied, and revised, the notion of the Muse using the poet as a ventriloquist’s doll evolved into the belief that a Muse could gift an already highly skilled artist with inspiration. “Inspire” and “spirit” are derived from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath” – the animating principle in animals and man that originally included both the god-given and emotional aspects of a person.

New York: Anchor Books. Ed. Karen V. Kukil, 2009. Print. , et al. “Mood-Independent Aberrancies in Associative Processes in Bipolar Affective Disorder: An Apparent Stabilizing Effect of Lithium”. Psychiatry Research, 1985. 14(4): 315–322. PubMed. gov. US National Library of Medicine. Web. 2 July 2012. Pryal, Katie Rose Guest. “The Creativity Mystique and the Rhetoric of Mood Disorders”. Disability Studies Quarterly, 2011. 31(3). Academia. edu. “Katie Rose Guest Pryal”. 1 January 2011. Web. 2 February 2013.

Are artists drawn to craziness? Does insanity creep toward them? Darkness and a thousand cartwheels In The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, Alexander Solomon describes our notions of depression as having gone through a thousand cartwheels since it was first studied in ancient Greece. Mental illness, an even broader category, is notoriously difficult to pin down: our minds are mutable; our brains are integrated with our bodies in complex ways; we are in constant dynamic relationship with a changing environment, and much of what affects and compels us goes on below consciousness.

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