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The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Persons Path Through Depression Paperback – December 28, 2007
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"Maisel's concepts in "The Van Gogh Blues" are right on the mark and address an area that is critically important and largely neglected. In addition, his writing style is superb."--John Preston, Psy.D., author of "Consumer's Guide to Psychiatric Drugs"
From the Inside Flap
Midwest Book Review
"Maisel persuasively argues that creative individuals measure their happiness and success by how much meaning they create in their work.”
Rather than shunning conventional treatments such as antidepressants and therapy, Maisel espouses confrontation with what seems like the existential pit of despair, the place creators often find themselves when looking for meaning in their work and the world. The Van Gogh Blues will help you remain true to your artistic calling and give you a medicine chest of tips and advice you can leverage if the Black Dog or another pernicious emotional booby trap snarls behind your canvas.”
Jeffrey M. Freedman, screenwriter, Vivaldi, and journalist-author
Top Customer Reviews
But the book goes way beyond simply identifying a syndrome. His concept of "meaning crises" makes immediate sense, and the way he goes through all aspects of this in detail, with both passion and compassion, gives the reader tools and motivation to immediately start to make sense of it all.
This is no fluffy self-help manual. It is dense with information and practical advice geared specifically for creative people, and is immensely engrossing reading, beautifully written.
I strongly recommend this book to any creative person. And, just as important, to any creative person's spouse or partner!
While he doesn't shun the medical take on depression, he brings an existential understanding of the situation. This view expresses that a creator that repeatedly makes meaning, hold on to that meaning in his life (life's work meaning and meaningful day-to-day life)will have a better chance of dealing with an inclination to depression.
Eric Maisel covers the field as to how meaning can be created using other's artists biographies, emails from contemporary creators and his experience as a creativity coach (which might be the coolest job in the world, I think). The book's question could be: As creatives, how can we create meaning in life? This way, the books appeals to more than only the depressed artists. To top it off, the author writes in a clear but not-dumbed-down way, ideal to the sophisticated, intellectual reader who appreciates good writing.
Even for a person who constantly reads on creativity and life purpose, I found this book brings new ideas and a fresh take on what assails the creative person.
I hesitated to buy this at first because I have some other books of Maisel's and he does tend to repeat ideas. This book does have some of the same ideas but they are through a slightly different lens and focus and since I HAD already been introduced to them I understood them much better. So it was worth it.
I'd been concerned about global warming/global cooling and couldn't sit back doing nothing. I recalled living with the Inupik-Inuit in Arctic, Alaska and later staying in the Hopi Village in Arizona. If indigenous people live and thrive in harsh environments, I mused, could modern day corporate Caucasians learn global harmony?
I decided to create meaning in my life and world by creating an anthology: Rainmaker's Prayers, Align with Global Harmony. Three hundred writers responded to a call for manuscripts from an ad I placed in Poets and Writers magazine
Dr Maisel's book The Van Gogh Blues changed my life. I continue to create meaning in my life, I believe we can all recreate our lives and our world. All human beings are creative, not just writers and artists. And, in the process of life we all get the blues...the choice is, like Van Gogh, to cut off your ear or as Dr Maisel suggests create something new or different. I strongly recommend this inspiring book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More self help, bootstraps, American psychology.
"Let the reader understand."
This book is a must-read for any creative person who wonders about there place in the world and the meaning of life. It brings clarity to a tough subject for many creative people.Published 12 months ago by Cheryl57
Eric talks about the creative individual needing a challenge to acquire meaning in life, as in one's choice in vocational pursuit and personal growth and development. Read morePublished 14 months ago by richard schwartz
I loved the fact that it was an easy read. This book gave the dos and don't of finding meaning as a creative person. I got exactly the answers I was looking for. Read morePublished 19 months ago by tarila
Amazingly insightful. Great from beginning to end. Also to pick up and read excerpts over and over.Published on July 27, 2014 by Bill
It's interesting, but ultimately, like most of Maisel's books, it's really a book that acts as a sort of self-promotion for his ideas and practice.Published on June 3, 2014 by MCV