Edward Rothstein in the NY Times: "...as Bobby Fischer's death on Thursday might remind us, even abstract gifts can exact a terrible price."
Many of the commentaries assert or presume that there must have been a connection between Fischer's genius and his eccentricities (or paranoid schizophrenia, take your pick). Why should the combination be more than coincidence? Substantial research suggests that high-functioning people in all domains experience less mental illness than average. So was there ever any logic to Dryden's
Great wits are sure to madness near allied
And thin partitions do their bounds divide
beyond a visceral (envious?) insistence on balance or payback? Surely some of it is no more than an upscale, cognitive version of the tabloids' barely suppressed satisfaction that Michael Jackson or Britney Spears is, y'know, really weird and unhappy.
- Bobby Fischer