The Creative Advantages of Schizophrenia: The Muse and the Mad Hatter
by Paul Kiritsis
Cambridge Scholars Publishing

"A researcher can hone into, pursue, and study different aspects, levels, and domains of creativity . . ."

This slim but fact-packed volume builds upon previous research of the intersection between psychological disorder and creativity. The work is slanted toward scholars and mental health professionals specifically interested in “the growing body of theoretical, clinical, and experimental evidence corroborating a correlation between creative ideation and positive schizotypy,” an idea sustained through the centuries since Plato’s era. Plato and Socrates referred to theia mania, a divine madness ascribed to the poetic arts, thought to be inspired by spiritual fervor inherited from the gods. Aristotle viewed this creativity as rational and also made reference to the connection of creativity with melancholia. Later, modern and post-modern historiography, sociology, and psychology research found evidence of links between extraordinary creativity and psychopathology.

Kiritsis guides the reader carefully and in detail through the three interconnected hypotheses of his empirical investigation of schizophrenia and creativity. The book is helpfully divided into seven chapters that range from a general discussion of schizophrenia and history of diagnosis in Chapter 1, followed by the history of treatment in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 is devoted to the sociohistorical context of creativity, and the author states that this agenda of his study remains faithful to empirical studies using computerized cognitive training and testing of creativity assessment. The discussion of these studies continues in Chapters 4-7, in tandem with a discussion of the author’s personal research and the implications for future research.

Because the concepts and discussions in this book aren’t filtered into popular terminology, this book may prove challenging for the casual lay reader. Yet anyone deeply interested in the veracity of links between creative genius and psychological disorders will deem this well-written study stimulating and encouraging and find the symbolically related illustrations by the author (and other artists) fascinating.

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