Friday, November 13, 2009

Does One Have to be Crazy to Be Creative?

So I was doing some research for fun on good ol' JD Salinger. I am cliche and he is a very favorite of mine. I can't tell you what Franny and Zooey does for me and reading Teddy gives me an indescribable feeling like no other piece of literature can. That being said after doing some reading on Mr. Salinger I have realized that he was kind of bat shit crazy.

To those of you that know even the slightest bit about him this is of no surprise as he is a known recluse who hasn't been seen in many many years. However the extent of his reclusiveness and case of the Madonnas (as he switches religions as she switches personas) was unknown to me up until now. He forced his second wife to stay in their home and really cut her off from her family. His daughter wrote a memoir about him that wasn't too pleasant and I believe he even sued to have it stopped being published. At any rate why is it that the most creative minds are the CRAZIEST?

I am a little crazy and I'm okay with admitting it. I am OCD and fairly ADD (apparently they only diagnose ADHD anymore, but I don't think I'm all that hyperactive so I will stick with old school, because no one really reads this anyway). I have anxiety, however, I function well in society and am pretty good at hiding my crazies or making them endearing enough for people to love! (I like to tell myself anyway). So that being said I like to think I'm also mildly creative, but that might be up for debate. Some of the most creative people I know are the most unstable. I'm not sure why these things are so closely related. As so many of us long for the ability to write lyrics like Elliott Smith or write verse like Poe or write amazingly beautiful stream of consciousness like Salinger would you take it if it came with such crazy consequences?

I'm not sure that I would as I have enough crazy on my own and as much as I revere those particular men they probably do not revere themselves. I'm okay with being completely mediocre if it comes with some sanity and ability to cope with day to day life. Perhaps some of you would disagree, but I wish great talent could come without all of the baggage. Misery certainly does breed creativity though.

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