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TED2009 minutes from Erik Hersman: Elizabeth Gilbert on ruining genius

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Erik Hersman is liveblogging his experience at TED2009 while Ethan Zuckerman takes a day off to accept an award in another location. His most recent update is on Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”. Just an excerpt from the piece:

“Elizabeth weaves an insightful story of artists, success and pressure. She asks if she’s doomed. What if she never replicates the success of her past book? Is it rational or logical to be afraid of the work that we were put on this earth to do? Why have artists and writers had this history of manic depressive and mental illnesses? Why does artistry always lead to mental anguish?”

Elizabeth poses an interesting question — should we be romanticizing tortured geniuses, or helping them?

Photo: Elizabeth Gilbert at TED2009, Session 5: Understand, Feb. 5, 2009, Long Beach, CA credit: TED / Asa Mathat