David Wilson - Virginia Woolf - Friedrich Nietzsche - Montaigne - Mark Twain - John Lennon - R D Laing - Tim Marlow TV - Se7en 1995 - Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 - Bruce Feirstein - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine TV - Rome Revealed TV - Hunter S Thompson - Graham Greene - Narcotics Anonymous - Joseph Heller - Edgar Allan Poe - Jean Dubuffet - Hermann Hesse - Oscar Lavant - Sylvia Nasar - Titicut Follies TV - Spitting Image TV - Louis Theroux TV - Crazy, Not Insane TV -
Insanity: an inability to reason because of mental illness. Insanity has a wide reach. Professor David Wilson, Broadmoor: A History of the Criminally Insane I, CI 2013
But he would not go mad. He would shut his eyes; he would see no more. But they beckoned; leaves were alive; trees were alive. And the leaves being connected by millions of fibres with his own body ... Sounds made harmonies with premeditation; the spaces between them were as significant as the sounds ... All taken together meant the birth of a new religion. Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, Septimus
In individuals insanity is rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche
Man is quite insane. He wouldn’t know how to create a maggot, and he creates gods by the dozen. Montaigne aka Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
This is a strange place, an extraordinary place, and interesting. There is nothing resembling it at home. The people are all insane, the other animals are all insane, the earth is insane, Nature itself is insane. Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm. Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the ‘noblest work of God’. This is the truth I am telling you. And this is not a new idea with him, he has talked it through all the ages, and believed it. Believed it, and found nobody among all his race to laugh at it. Mark Twain, Letters from Earth
Clearly insane ... and insanest upon war and its supreme glories. Mark Twain, re Teddy Roosevelt
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends. John Lennon
Insanity – a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world. R D Laing
In fact Van Gogh’s mind was troubled by much more than isolation. He found himself gripped by terrible seizures and hallucinations. Doctors later diagnosed epilepsy. Van Gogh feared insanity ... The illness was becoming a central part of his painting. Great Artists with Tim Marlow: Van Gogh
Do you know that you’re insane? Se7en 1995 starring Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman & Kevin Spacey & Gwyneth Paltrow & Richard Roundtree & Richard Schiff & R Lee Ermey & Mark Boone junior & John Cassini & Reg E Cathey et al, director David Fincher, Mills to murderer in car
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 starring Pierce Brosnan & Judi Dench & Jonathan Pryce & Michaelle Yeoh & Teri Hatcher & Ricky Jay & Gotz Otto & Joe Don Baker & Vincent Schiavelli & Samantha Bond et al, director Roger Spottiswoode, Elliot Carver
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. Bruce Feirstein
And the only explanation I can find is that our leaders have simply gone insane. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine s3e2: The Search II ***** Garak
This is the story of the man who brought hell to Rome. He inherited a vast empire, unimaginable wealth and a love of his people. He threw them all away. He butchered his enemies and his closest friends. According to the ancient texts his reign descended into paranoia, depravity and full-blown insanity. Rome Revealed: Madness of Caligula s1e7, National Geographic 2010
‘Crazy’ is a term of art; ‘Insane’ is a term of law. Remember that and you will save yourself a lot of trouble. Hunter S Thompson
Innocence is a kind of insanity. Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. Narcotics Anonymous, attributions & variations
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind ... Or would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Joseph Heller, Catch-22
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. Edgar Allan Poe
For me, insanity is super-sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity. Jean Dubuffet
When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. Hermann Hesse
There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. Oscar Levant
Men of scientific genius, however eccentric, rarely become truly insane – the strongest evidence for the potentially protective nature of creativity. Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind
Dorothea Dix, a fiery, singleminded Unitarian who made the appalling plight of the sane – condemned to almshouses, prisons, and the streets – her life’s crusade. ibid.
Take your clothes off. Titicut Follies, public hall, 1967
Patient: I need help. I just don’t know where I can get it.
Doctor: Well you’ll get it here, I guess. ibid.
Sir Jimmy Savile OBE Insanity Ward. Spitting Image s10e2, ITV 1991
For the first time in sixty years Ohio State Psychiatric Hospitals had allowed cameras in to film with patients. Most of the men and women I’d be meeting had committed serious crimes but had been found NGRI [Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity]. Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity I, BBC 2015
Brian had first been admitted to hospital twenty years earlier after killing his mother. Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity II
A serious sexual assault on a close family member. His name was Dean ... Not guilty by reason of insanity. ibid.
He’d stabbed and killed a man at random. ibid.
Bigotry and insanity are different. At least my mother thought so. Alex Gibney, ‘Crazy, Not Insane’, Dr Dorothy Otnow Lewis, psychiatrist, Sky Documentaries 2021