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For other meanings, see Surrealist techniques.

Graphomania (from Greek γραφειν — writing,[1] and μανία — insanity), also known as scribomania, refers to an obsessive impulse to write.[2][3] When used in a specifically psychiatric context, it labels a morbid mental condition which results in writing rambling and confused statements, often degenerating into a meaningless succession of words or even nonsense and called then graphorrhea[4] (cf. hypergraphia). The term 'graphomania' has been used in early 19th century by Esquirol and later by Eugen Bleuler, becoming more or less usual [5] Graphomania is near condition to typomania - obsessiveness with seeing one's name in publication or with writing for being published, excessive symbolism or typology.[6]

Outside the psychiatric definitions of graphomania and related conditions, the word is used more broadly to label the urge and need to write excessively, whether professional or not. Max Nordau, in his attack to what he saw as degenerate art, frequently used the term 'graphomania' to label the production of the artists he condemned (most notably Richard Wagner[7] or the French symbolist poets [8])

According to Kundera, graphomania is the groundless claim, sometimes being large-scale, of being a writer:

"The irresisitable proliferation of graphomania among politicians, taxi drivers, childbearers, lovers, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, officials, doctors, and patients shows me that everyone without exception bears a potential writer within him, so that the entire human species has good reason to go down the streets and shout: 'We are all writers!'"

Kundera's feeling about graphomania may be explained by the fact that such a pejorative meaning of graphomania is actually often used in Post-Soviet block to denote foolish, unprofessional and excessive writings (not only in the form of literature, but also science), while logorrhea as a noun (with its negative, pejorative meaning) is not as often used.[10] The word "logophiliac" is used in a similar disparaging fashion by cognoscenti in the US.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Graphic, etymology
  2. ^ Graphomania Medicine world
  3. ^ Scribomania, Everything 2, 2007-04-21
  4. ^ Drever J., (1954), A Dictionary of Psychology, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books
  5. ^ "The habit of excessive writing, of explaining, amplifying, and reiterating, of letter making and pamphleteering, forms a morbid symptom of known as “graphomania.” Some men may overload their natural tendency to write, but a certain class of lunatics use nearly all their mental activities in this occupation, to the endless annoyance of their friends, relatives and physicians."“Bryan’s Mental Condition:” One Psychiatrist’s View Source: New York Times, 27 September 1896.
  6. ^ Typomania, definition
  7. ^ Nordau M., Degeneration: "We will take a closer view of the graphomaniac Wagner.. He displays in the general constitution of his mind ... all the signs of graphomania, namely, incoherence, fugitive ideation, and a tendency to idiotic punning." p171-2; London: Heinemann. 1895 [1]
  8. ^ Ibid.
  9. ^ 1978
  10. ^ Both Graphomania and Logorrhea have phonetically equal translations to Slavic languages.