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The Accidental Artist

December 6, 2008

The Star-Ledger just launched a stunning multimedia project about Jon Sarkin, “The Accidental Artist.” He was living an ordinary life as a chiropractor, when a stroke unleashed prolific, compulsive artistic ability.
His paintings and drawings are haunting and strange. Amy Ellis Nutt’s story about him is a blend of science and art that raises as many thoughtful questions as it answers.

One of the people who struggles to understand Sarkin’s case is Harvard-trained neurologist Alice Flaherty, author of The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain which I remember trying to read a few years ago. I remember I was tremendously impressed, and more than a little intimidated by the caliber of her writing and science. I didn’t actually finish the book, though, and now I’m not sure where my copy is. I should pick that up again.

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