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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Feeling It.

My emotions are back. I'm going full swing and on High sensitivity! BUT I think it's a good thing. Today I'm going to talk about 5 authors who have written excruciatingly well while being depressed... although I have to say that I don't particularly feel depressed. I am mostly just emotional and glad to be back in touch with my emotions.

So without further ado, and in no particular order...

1. Ernest Hemingway
Classic self-medicating depressed writer. He had a lot of traumatic experiences throughout his life that were clearly fodder for his fiction. I think E.H. was a prolific and magnificent writer. From what I read I found that Hemingway suffered from an actual physical ailment that contributed to his failing mental health and eventual suicide. "Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder, the inability to metabolize iron and culminates in mental and physical deterioration." Apparently he, his father, his siblings and even granddaughter had an excuse.
2. William Faulkner.
Other than the fact that this guy writes like a freak I think he's amazing! I love the way his stories unfold and that he tried unconventional ways to tell a story. One of my dreams in life is to visit Oxford, Mississippi and tour his home... Rumor has it he has scribblings on the walls from his writing days... SQUEE!

3. Virginia Woolf.
No self-respecting female author does not love this woman. Odd but interesting, sexually abused and orphaned by the age of 22, she experienced several breakdowns & eventually suicide. She was brilliant and her work was biographical and intellectual. I will say that my love of Virginia Woolf is about her writing skills, how I feel sucked into the story and as if what she's talking about is actually happening to me. That is marvelous (regardless of ties to feminism or Lesbianism)!

4. Charles Dickens.
While not a huge fan of Dickens myself, I cannot deny his impact and influence as an author. It is said that "A Christmas Carol" is one of the most influential works ever written. Also, I do not disagree with his social criticism and believe there is no greater compliment to a writer than to have your works influence society as a whole and inspire socio-economic changes throughout the world. 

5. Franz Kafka.
The first time I read The Metamorphosis I was completely blown away. In my study of existential writings, Kafka IS the name that comes up. His point of view and way of telling a story so you think is unparalleled. References to Kafka range from comedic, (Bridget Jones promotes a book called 'Kafka's Motorbike') to austere; creating the term "Kafkaesque" denoting anything "incomprehensibly complex, bizarre or illogical." Brilliant!

***I would like to note that I do not believe that to be incredibly gifted as a writer, you need to be mentally ill or practice substance abuse. What I do believe, for me in particular, is that numbing my emotions (as I have for many years via medication) dampens my creativity.***

(FYI in doing my research I found this Wikipedia entry listing many famous people who suffer from or have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder. I am among good company, in my opinion.)


  1. For me writing is impossible if I stop taking medication. The depression combined with anxiety becomes so intense I can't sit still to work. And the stories in my head disappear.

    No judgement either way, we all need to do what we need to do in order to be creative.

  2. Oh, I understand that! If I have to I will go back on meds but am hoping for something different. I was numb & emotionless. If it gets to be too much I'll go back and get something else.
    Also, I have post-herpetic neuralgia or Fibromyalgia (they have similar symptoms) and I'm hoping to find something that can help with all of that.


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