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Breakdown or Breakthrough? A History of European Research into Drugs and Creativity (1999)

Breakdown or Breakthrough? A History of European Research into Drugs and Creativity (1999)

  1. Jatelka
    Journal of Creative Behaviour 33(4) 237-276

    ten Berge J

    Language barriers have largely prevented American scholars from learning about European studies concerning drugs and creativity. An art historian reports on several Swiss, English, French and German studies conducted from the 19405 to the 19705, offering new data in a research area that has been banned since drugs like mescaline, psilocybin, and LSD became illegal. Different views of the operations of these drugs, revealed by such terms as hallucinogens," "psychotogenics," and "psychedelics," appear to have colored researchers' aims to a large extent. The notions of drugs "dictating" or "liberating" the intoxicated artist are criticized by discussing the importance of set and setting. It is proposed that intentional drug use among artists expecting artistic breakthroughs while Intoxicated, can be seen as a form of "gaucherie" or disinhibiting technique.