Thursday, February 23, 2012

crazy like a fox

Last night after bitching about what a process writing is for me, I got to thinking about some of my favorite writers and how messed up they actually were.  I started to wonder: were they messed up to begin with, and that's why they wrote - or did they write, and that's what messed them up?  Chicken, egg.  I guess it doesn't really matter which came first, since in the end they were ultimately both things: messed up, and writerTheir craziness is not necessarily what defines them, but it certainly makes for some good reading.

here are six brilliant, tormented, fucked-up folks
who also happen to be some of the most celebrated writers in modern history:

1. f. scott fitzgerald. most famous for the great gatsby, the consummate jazz age story. raging alcoholic.  2. j.d. salinger.  best known for the catcher in the rye.  if you haven't read it, read it.  it's for everyone, trust me.  this guy was a zen buddhist, a scientologist and quite possibly had OCD.  3. sylvia plath.  poet, author.  wrote the bell jar, which is transcendent and lovely and haunting.  a manic depressive who committed suicide by sticking her head in an oven.  4. fernando pessoa.  the most affecting writer you've probably never heard of (i'm a fan).  a brilliant, avant garde portuguese poet who wrote under several "heteronyms" or distinct alternate personalities, leading some to believe he had MPD.  note: googling this guy does not produce a good representation of his work - you must buy his translated stuff. it's worth it.  i recommend a little larger than the entire universe from penguin classics.  5. emily dickinson.  an eccentric recluse who rarely left her room in later life, composing some 1,800 poems there.  only about a dozen of them were actually published during her lifetime.  6. edgar allan poe.  nuff said, i would think.

now go pour yourself a drink and read some stuff.

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