It’s no secret that some of the minds behind the world’s greatest novels weren’t the most sound. In fact, we as a culture tend to associate the mind of a writer with a sort of instability, a level of insanity that isn’t ascribed to most. Often described as a “tortured artist,” we’ve come to inextricably link creative and instability, and whether that’s to the benefit or detriment of the creative individuals of the world is very much up for debate. What we can be certain of, however, is that there remains an alarmingly high amount of evidence to suggest that writers (as a broad stroke), are a bit different then regular folk. That’s why we here at Goliath are taking a look at 10 renowned authors who were as crazy as you think, because we’re fascinated by the idea of unstable minds producing some of the greatest literary works of their generation.
10. Graham Greene
We’ve written before about our affinity for the underappreciated Greene, who penned classic spy novels such as Our Man in Havana, The Quiet American and The Heart of the Matter. An English author, Greene drew from his own experiences as a spy when writing these classic tales, and knowing so makes it little wonder that the stories themselves are so vividly realized. So why is he on this list? Well, he was notoriously difficult and unpredictable, perhaps due to the bipolar disorder he dealt with over the duration of his adult life. Labelled as “a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life,” Greene was often compelled to travel, write and engage in the espionage of which he became so fond (blurring art and reality, much?). Greene, who was also a devout Catholic and often struggled to reconcile his position in life with his religion, often touches upon the themes of instability in his works, perhaps leading to the suggestion that he is one of the most apt chroniclers of the neurosis and insecurity of contemporary life.