An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom!


J. G. Ballard (1930-, British author)


I have cultivated my hysteria with delight and terror. Now I suffer continually from vertigo, and today, 23rd of January, 1862, I have received a singular warning, I have felt the wind of the wing of madness pass over me.


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


The world has always gone through periods of madness so as to advance a bit on the road to reason.


Hermann Broch (1886-1951, Austrian novelist)


One who shows signs of mental aberration is, inevitably, perhaps, but cruelly, shut off from familiar, thoughtless intercourse, partly excommunicated; his isolation is unwittingly proclaimed to him on every countenance by curiosity, indifference, aversion, or pity, and in so far as he is human enough to need free and equal communication and feel the lack of it, he suffers pain and loss of a kind and degree which others can only faintly imagine, and for the most part ignore.


Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929, American sociologist)


He is mad past recovery, but yet he has lucid intervals.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


Men are mad most of their lives; few live sane, fewer die so. The acts of people are baffling unless we realize that their wits are disordered. Man is driven to justice by his lunacy.


Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977, American author, critic)


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.


Salvador Dali (1904-1989, Spanish painter)


In this century the writer has carried on a conversation with madness. We might almost say of the twentieth-century writer that he aspires to madness. Some have made it, of course, and they hold special places in our regard. To a writer, madness is a final distillation of self, a final editing down. It's the drowning out of false voices.


Don Delillo (1926-, American author)


Perhaps he was a bit different from other people, but what really sympathetic person is not a little mad?


Isadora Duncan (1878-1927, American dancer)


Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.


Michel Foucault (1926-1984, French essayist, philosopher)


Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.


R. D. Laing (1927-1989, British psychiatrist)


The experience and behavior that gets labeled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation.


R. D. Laing (1927-1989, British psychiatrist)


Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


The lightning flashes through my skull; mine eyeballs ache and ache; my whole beaten brain seems as beheaded, and rolling on some stunning ground.


Herman Melville (1819-1891, American author)


Madness is tonic and invigorating. It makes the sane more sane. The only ones who are unable to profit by it are the insane.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


Madness is something rare in individuals -- but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


The usefulness of madmen is famous: they demonstrate society's logic flagrantly carried out down to its last scrimshaw scrap.


Cynthia Ozick (1928-, American novelist, short-story writer)


It's a question to ask ourselves if we're not mad. But who are the madmen, in God's name? Those who wonder about it, or the others? If we ever began to speak out loud, what would they do with us, tell me?


Victor Serge


O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper. I would not be mad.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


We want a few mad people now. See where the sane ones have landed us!


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic.


Thomas Szasz (1920-, American psychiatrist)


In the past, men created witches; now they create mental patients.


Thomas Szasz (1920-, American psychiatrist)


To think the world therefore a general Bedlam, or place of madmen, and oneself a physician, is the most necessary point of present wisdom: an important imagination, and the way to happiness.


Thomas Traherne (1636-1674, British clergyman, poet, mystic)


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