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Artistic Productivity and Mental Health.

Harry J. Hess, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(3):471. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870090155045.
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The title of this book excites one's curiosity. Its contents satisfy it and, in the process, engender fruitful speculation. Not uncommonly one hears that eccentricity and a varying measure of abnormal emotional fluctuations are among the attributes of the artist, and, almost as often, credence is given the opinion that psychotherapy will disrupt the artist's creative flow.

These two widely accepted interconnected beliefs have not often been challenged, but on the one hand eccentricity should not be confused with the uniqueness of the creative person and on the other the state of his mental health is neither influenced by nor can it bruise the mysterious light of creation that is in him. The artist's expression reaches universality and universality heightens the aesthetic experience. The product of the psychotic on the contrary will not penetrate to enrich: it is odd and bizarre. The personality of the mentally ill artist is as


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