Creativity, loss, and character. Balakirev: The man who had at one time all of music in his hands, but… Academic Article uri icon


  • For many centuries, the professional literature has discussed the complicated relationship between creativity and psychopathology. Creative people reproduce their feelings using their creative skills, and it is only natural that one's mental state may influence art. This article describes a special type of creativity that is associated with early loss and bereavement. In this form, creative work plays an important role in coping with loss, especially traumatic loss, in early development. Those who are bereaved, especially when young, may use creative work as a transitional object linking them to a deceased loved one, usually a parent or sibling. This article also describes the life, creativity, character, and illness of one of the most famous Russian musicians of the late 19th century: Miliy Balakirev. Balakirev's use of musical creativity as a method of coping with the loss and the consequent effects on his psychological state during his lifetime is apparent in his letters, friend's memories, and biograp...

publication date

  • January 1, 2008