In 1961, Thomas Szasz crystalized a particular kind of countercultural trope: the “mentally ill” genius. His The Myth of Mental Illness asserted that people can be “disabled by life.” That one sensitive to the absurdities and senselessness of life may appear mentally ill, but really tells Truth in a hostile society.
By now it’s trite: Sherlock Holmes, House, the lady in Homeland. Hannah Horvath. Gonzo.
No one’s crying about the dude in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest anymore.
But Peggy cried about Michael Ginsberg.