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Description - Art, Crime and Madness by Shlomo Giora Shoham

This book explores the relationship between creative innovation, deviance and morbidity. To innovate, one has to be able to view the medium and the object of creativity in a different, hitherto unexplored manner. The essence of art is creative innovation, coupled with an ability, in varying degrees, to transcend the boundaries of consciousness. But this 'ability' is also the prerogative of the mentally deranged. Likewise, the criminal and the deviant are more likely to transcend normative barriers while creating, hence the wide range of criminal and deviant behaviour in society. Although the inverse hypothesis does not hold -- the mere existence of deviance or morbidity does not predispose the individual to creativity -- nevertheless criminal and mad behaviour are often very innovative. This thesis is illustrated by historical case histories of creative deviance and genius madness, and contemporary observations. The painter Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio killed a man while still a teenager, and a second victim during a ball game. In his lifetime he was considered degenerate, but today he is considered the greatest painter of the Italian Settecento, and his portrait adorns the Hundred-Thousand Lira note. Jean Genet the homosexual thief was born out of wedlock and as a teenager he transgressed almost all the paragraphs of the French criminal code. But he became a famous French playwright, the mouthpiece for criminals and deviants. His plays built up a philosophical apology for the raison d'etre of the criminal group.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781903900062
ISBN-10: 1903900069
Format: Paperback
(152mm x 229mm x 10mm)
Pages: 209
Imprint: Sussex Academic Press
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Shlomo Giora Shoham

Shlomo G. Shoham is a world renowned criminologist, recipient of the Selinglueck Award from the American Society of Criminology in 1977 and the Israel Prize Laureate for 2003. He has published some 90 books in 20 languages and 2000 articles in 30 languages in the areas of criminology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, theology and art. He has developed an interdisciplinary personality theory which is most suitable for the explanation of deviance and alienation.

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