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Baron Munchausen And Others - Great And Terrible
Baron Munchausen And Others - Great And Terrible

Video: Baron Munchausen And Others - Great And Terrible

Video: Baron Munchausen And Others - Great And Terrible
Video: Who was Pinocchio`s Mom Как все-таки звали маму Буратино? 2023, March

There is one mental disorder that is completely harmless without an obvious connection with other disorders. And it doesn't even need to be treated. Have you guessed? This is a pathological deceit. What character comes to your mind first with these words? Of course, Karl Friedrich Jerome Baron von Munchausen! But he also has followers. Let's get to know them better

The exploits of the famous baron


Karl Friedrich Jerome von Munchausen (in the uniform of a cuirassier). G. Bruckner, 1752

Let us recall some of the well-known exploits of the baron. For example, according to the "updated data" Munchausen pulled himself out of the swamp together with the horse, not by the hair, but for his manhood. However, the baron resorted to a similar method when saving women from a fire from the roof of a neighboring house. He made them undress first and, encouraged by the spectacle, gave them the opportunity to crawl to a safer place.

Finally, von Munchausen, with all the modesty befitting a knight, says that he had an affair with Catherine the Great, who almost bit off his finger in ecstasy, but allowed him to become the father of Paul I (stunning news for historians!). By the way, the last feat of the baron looks the most reliable.

Liars among us

Were there really famous creative personalities who suffered from the same mental disorder? Modern politicians and lawmakers, of course, don't count. Imagine - yes! And some of them, thanks to their talents, have adapted very successfully in life.

Let's give one example. German writer Karl Friedrich May wrote a lot of novels "about Indians", which are well known to us from the screen versions. Among them are "Winnetou - the leader of the Apaches", "Winnetu in the valley of death", "Faithful hand - friend of the Indians" and others.

Robberies and break-ins of the "leader of the Apaches"

Karl May
Karl May

Karl May. 1907 year

How did the pathological deceit manifest itself in this writer? Since childhood, Karl loved to fantasize. One day he met a man who had returned home from America. The boy listened with interest to stories about his adventures, which were later useful to him when writing his own novels.

Karl May is “a vivid example of the combination of rich imagination and hysterical personality structure … Before starting his writing career, he spent more than seven years in prison, serving a sentence for theft, burglary and various fraudulent schemes. At the age of 38, he was in prison for the last time”(Leonhard K., 1981).

After his last release, Karl May began to compose short novels, which he subsequently expanded to the format of "novels with sequels" for various periodicals

I speak a hundred languages

Having become a famous writer, Mai continued his adventurous antics, no longer resorting to criminal acts. “To his literary pseudonym, he added loud-sounding names with titles of nobility. He crowned these pseudonyms with the title of Doctor of Science, which he later even materialized, so to speak, acquiring a doctorate degree at one of the American universities for money.

The peak of the writer's pathological deceit is considered to be his letter, in which he declares: “I speak and write: in French, in English, in Italian, in Spanish, in Greek, in Latin, in Hebrew, in Romanian, in Arabic - in six dialects, in Persian, in Kurdish - in two dialects, in Chinese - in six dialects, in Malay, in the Nanakua language, in several dialects of Sioux, Apaches, Comanches, Suaki, Uta, Kiowa, as well as Kechumani, then in three South American dialects. I will not mention Lapland. How many working nights did it cost me? I still don't sleep three nights a week: from 6 pm on Monday to 12 noon on Tuesday, the same way from Wednesday to Thursday and from Friday to Saturday."

Millions of book circulation … as a reward for fantasy

In this case, we can speak with complete confidence about pathological deceit in the psychiatric sense of this term.

The writer did not disdain self-promotion, publishing letters from readers, which he himself composed. Thus, his literary activity acquired the features of adventurism

“I have no doubt that the development of Karl May's writing talent was greatly facilitated by his belonging to the demonstrative type of people. The accentuation of personality in this case led to millions of copies of his books, to the translation of K. May's novels into many languages,”writes K. Leonhard.

The main thing is to attract attention

A hysterical personality, acquiring the features of a hero in his own eyes, intensely attracts the attention of others to his person in all possible ways: from cheating and absurd lies to boundless fantasy. Here, Baron Munchausen is just a stone's throw away.

And if such a person has literary talent, then it is easier for him to achieve wide, albeit short-lived, popularity. Hysterical facets of personality allow even faint sparks of talent to sparkle like fiery fireworks.


  • Leonhard K. Accentuated personality / Per. with him. V. M. Leshchinskaya. Kiev: Vishcha school. Parent Publishing House, 1981.
  • Amorous adventures of Baron von Munchausen in Russia and its environs, described by himself. Retelling by V. Protov. - SPb: Institute of Coitology, 2011.
  • Raspe R. E. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Korney Chukovsky recounted it for children. M.: Children's literature, 2013.

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