I’m reading Humanly Possible by Sarah Bakewell and towards the end of the second chapter there’s a story that struck me.
Nor did they always succeed in weeding out all traces of the mad-professor tendency. One admired scholar and tutor at the court of Forlì, Antonio Urceo, known as Codro, was given an apartment in the palace to live and work in. One day he went out, leaving a candle burning on his desk. A pile of papers caught fire; the flames spread, and when he returned, it was to find almost everything destroyed, including his current work in progress.
Forgetting all his humanistic polish and sprezzatura, Codro ran pell-mell out of the city into the countryside, screaming damnation against both God and the Virgin Mary, and calling on the Devil to take his soul. His cries faded as he vanished into the wilderness. By the time he was calm enough to return, the city’s gates had been closed for the night. He had to sleep outside, and in the morning a kind carpenter took him in and let him stay in his house. Codro remained there for six months, not returning to the palace and not touching a book—until, at last, his equilibrium was restored and he was able to resume work.
If ever I make reference to feeling a Big Codro Mood coming on, let this post serve as sufficient explanation.