JOURNAL OF GENIUS AND EMINENCE, 5 (2) 2020 Article 4 | pages 44-58
Issue Copyright © 2021 Tinkr
Article Copyright © 2021 Yulia Furlong
ISSN: 2334-1149 online
“Diagnosing” literary genius: A concise look at the
life and works of Alexander Pushkin
University of Western Australia & Perth’s Children Hospital, Australia
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
This paper examined the phenomena of literary genius by providing a retrospective case study and an analysis of the creative works of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837). Taking the readers into Pushkin’s unique world, we attempted to elucidate salient points of his short life, to understand his giftedness and his creative evolution, and to solve the mystery surrounding his spectacular downfall. Building on the works of Cesare Lombroso and Howard E. Gruber, we have utilised unique phenomenological method in “diagnosing” Pushkin. We considered several hypotheses relating to a number of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, and highlighted ADHD-associated cognitive and behavioural profile which may have contributed to Pushkin’s creativity and subsequent demise. Recognizing that Pushkin was confronted by psychological tensions and interpersonal issues and both sublimated and sought resolution in his poetry, we argue that the vicissitude of his life and his literature were inextricably interrelated. The riddle of Pushkin’s literary genius prompted us to probe further into the nature of literary creativity and freedom of speech.
Yulia Furlong | University of Western Australia | Medical School | Division of Psychiatry | Perth, Australia
Perth’s Children Hospital | Perth WA 6009 | Australia | Correspondence: Yulia.Furlong@health.wa.gov.au Correspondence address: Paediatric Consultation Liaison and Gender Diversity Service, Perth’s Children Hospital, Office 2E, Perth WA 6009, Australia
Michael Fitzgerald | Trinity College Dublin | Department of Psychiatry | Dublin | Ireland
Note: The author attests that there are no conflicts of interest, that the data reported here are not used in any other publications and there are no infringements on previous copyrights.