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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Madness (27 Quotations)

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And what is an authentic madman? It is a man who preferred to become mad, in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor. So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastinesses. For a madman is also a man whom society did not want to hear and whom it wanted to prevent from uttering certain intolerable truths.
~ Antonin Artaud

 

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

 

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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

 

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

 

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In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom!
~ J. G. Ballard

 

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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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Much Madness is divinest Sense -- to a discerning Eye -- much Sense -- the starkest Madness --
~ Emily Dickinson

 

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

 

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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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

 

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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

 

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