Dr John Ross on adversity
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Literary genius more often arises from disappointment and chagrin than comfort and complacency; the rich and content have no need of imagination. Most great writers have experienced at least temporary emotional or financial hardship. A common biographical pattern in literary figures is the premature death of a parent, or a financial disaster leading to a sharp decline in social status. Swift, Defoe, Byron, Keats, Coleridge, Hawthorne, Melville, Thackeray, the Brontes, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath all lost a parent in childhood. Poe, Tolstoy and Conrad were orphans. Byron, Melville, Dickens, Joyce, Keats and Shakespeare had debt ridden fathers and brushes with poverty. Nabokov grew up in circumstances of privelege, but his family lost everything.... Other childhood traumas might foster literary inventiveness such as the miserable years Shelley and Orwell spent in boarding schools.