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Blupete's Weekly Commentary

September 24th, 2000.

Divine Madness.

"There never has been a genius without some touch of madness." (Seneca.)

"There is a pleasure sure,
In being mad, which none but madmen know." (Dryden.)

"Of madness there were two kinds; one produced by human infirmity, the other ... a divine release of the soul from the yoke of custom and convention. ... The divine madness was subdivided into four kinds, prophetic, initiatory, poetic, erotic, having, four gods presiding over them: the first was the inspiration of Apollo, the second that of Dionysus, the third that of the Muses, the fourth that of Aphrodite and Eros." (Plato.)

"Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Good machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad." (Holmes.)

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Peter Landry

September, 2000 (2019)