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December 2021

Van Gogh and lithium. Creativity and bipolar disorder: perspective of a writer

Journal/Book: Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1999; 33 Suppl: S117-9.

Abstract: Penelope Rowe, educated at Sydney University in the 1960s and the mother of three daughters, is the author of three published novels and two collections of short stories. She agrees with Graham Greene that 'the creative writer perceives his world once and for all in childhood and adolescence and his whole career is an effort to illustrate his private world in terms of the great public world we all share. In the childhood of Judas, Jesus was betrayed.' More optimistically she also agrees with the great poet Seamus Heaney, who says 'there is the responsibility of the writer to address, amplify and analyse the music of what happens, and also the other music, the "siren music", of what might be, that is "the crediting of marvels" '.

Keyword(s): Antimanic Agents/history/therapeutic use. Autobiography. Bipolar Disorder/drug therapy. Creativeness. History of Medicine, 20th Cent.. Human. Lithium Carbonate/history/therapeutic use. Quality of Life. Writing

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