Quotes Categories

Madness Quotes

No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.

Author: Aristotle

Profession: Greek Philosopher

And what is an authentic madman? It is a man who preferred to become mad, in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor. So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastinesses. For a madman is also a man whom society did not want to hear and whom it wanted to prevent from uttering certain intolerable truths.

Author: Antonin Artaud (1896-1948)

Profession: French Theater Producer, Actor, Theorist

In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom!

Author: J. G. Ballard (1930)

Profession: British Author

I have cultivated my hysteria with delight and terror. Now I suffer continually from vertigo, and today, 23rd of January, 1862, I have received a singular warning, I have felt the wind of the wing of madness pass over me.

Author: Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

Profession: French Poet

The world has always gone through periods of madness so as to advance a bit on the road to reason.

Author: Hermann Broch (1886-1951)

Profession: Austrian Novelist

One who shows signs of mental aberration is, inevitably, perhaps, but cruelly, shut off from familiar, thoughtless intercourse, partly excommunicated; his isolation is unwittingly proclaimed to him on every countenance by curiosity, indifference, aversion, or pity, and in so far as he is human enough to need free and equal communication and feel the lack of it, he suffers pain and loss of a kind and degree which others can only faintly imagine, and for the most part ignore.

Author: Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929)

Profession: American Sociologist

Men are mad most of their lives; few live sane, fewer die so. The acts of people are baffling unless we realize that their wits are disordered. Man is driven to justice by his lunacy.

Author: Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977)

Profession: American Author, Critic

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.

Author: Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Profession: Spanish Painter

In this century the writer has carried on a conversation with madness. We might almost say of the twentieth-century writer that he aspires to madness. Some have made it, of course, and they hold special places in our regard. To a writer, madness is a final distillation of self, a final editing down. It's the drowning out of false voices.

Author: Don Delillo (1926)

Profession: American Author

Much Madness is divinest Sense -- to a discerning Eye -- much Sense -- the starkest Madness --

Author: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Profession: American Poet

Perhaps he was a bit different from other people, but what really sympathetic person is not a little mad?

Author: Isadora Duncan (1878-1927)

Profession: American Dancer

Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.

Author: Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Profession: French Essayist, Philosopher

Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.

Author: R. D. Laing (1927-1989)

Profession: British Psychiatrist

The experience and behavior that gets labeled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation.

Author: R. D. Laing (1927-1989)

Profession: British Psychiatrist

Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.

Author: John Lennon (1940-1980)

Profession: British Rock Musician