20 March 2004

Telling a tale with too many words

Studies conducted in the past decade found a high proportion of depressive poets, novelists, composers and visual artists when compared to people in non-creative professions. So, is a certain degree of mental instability, a glitch in the brain, necessary to be an artist? Perhaps not. After all, countless mentally and emotionally healthy artists tell us otherwise. Yet many creative people believe their mood or brain disorders facilitate their work. As the writer Robert Burton said: 'All poets are mad.'

Lesions on the temporal lobe cause TLE. Although it tends to run in the family, there is no known cause of manic depression. In both instances, however, the hypergraphic writer generally does not wish to be cured. In fact, many hypergraphics are quite content with their condition. Unlike writer's block, it isn't painful.

'It felt like a disease: I could not stop,' Flaherty writes. 'It also felt like one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It still does.'

On the off chance this disorder is contagious, any hypergraphics willing to exchange their precious bodily fluids should contact me as soon as possible.

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