Pox

Pox

Genius, Madness, and the Mysteries of Syphilis

Book - 2003
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Was Beethoven experiencing syphilitic euphoria when he composed "Ode to Joy"? Did van Gogh paint "Crows Over the Wheatfield" in a fit of diseased madness right before he shot himself? Was syphilis a stowaway on Columbus's return voyage to Europe? The answers to these provocative questions are likely "yes," claims Deborah Hayden in this riveting investigation of the effects of the "Pox" on the lives and works of world figures from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. Writing with remarkable insight and narrative flair, Hayden argues that biographers and historians have vastly underestimated the influence of what Thomas Mann called "this exhilarating yet wasting disease." Shrouded in secrecy, syphilis was accompanied by wild euphoria and suicidal depression, megalomania and paranoia, profoundly affecting sufferers' worldview, their sexual behavior and personality, and, of course, their art. Deeply informed and courageously argued, Pox has already been heralded as a major contribution to our understanding of genius, madness, and creativity.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2003
ISBN: 9780465028818
0465028810
Branch Call Number: 614.547209 Hay
Characteristics: xx, 379 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

"Scarcely have you been born before you begin rotting." - Gustave Flaubert

l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

"You haven't seen my thoughts anywhere, have you?" - Guy de Maupassant

l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

...he (Nietzsche) felt "like a zig-zag doodle drawn on paper by a superior power wanting to try out a new pen."

l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

"My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has got to go." - Oscar Wilde

l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

"History is merely gossip" - Oscar Wilde

l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

"No one knows another's pain" - Schubert

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l
lonewolf8
Aug 18, 2015

A very interesting read! This book gives a very well researched and fascinating history and background of syphilis including its origins and how it spread across Europe. My main complaint is that throughout the book, the author is incredibly repetitious to where her arguments lose their force because they are so over used.

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