Medicine: As Sane as Anybody

Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even can enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind.

—Macaulay: On Mitford's History of Greece

Must a poet be mad? Doctors, many of whom are sane, doubt it. The British Royal College of Physicians, in a clinically solemn discussion of the creative mind, recently came to the conclusion that writers are not as crazy as they like to think they are.

The "clinician" who presented most of the data was Harold Nicolson, urbane British author, onetime diplomat and M.P. To nail the "popular fallacy" that creative...

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