In our preparation for this year’s symposium and reader we came across a vast amount of material that seemed relevant to the extraordinarily wide range of subjects in extravagant minds − as we have called the second edition of the Extravagant Bodies festival. The amount of the material, of course, far exceeds the scope of the printed publication you have in your hands, because of which it was necessary to choose suitable criteria for filtering the texts. In addition to concision, the basic criterion, above all we did our best to include authors and writings that would be presented in Croatian translation for the first time in this selection, letting the publication be understood as an informative and pithy inducement to further reading in the future.
What is common to the selected conference contributions and texts is a certain kind of restraint, or refusal to assent to the setting of unreserved bounds to a field in which, and from which, it is possible clearly and unambiguously to define what psychological or mental processes and phenomena are; what mental health is, alternatively, what mental illness and disorders are. The quandary about how to address this complex of problems − whether through medicine, sociology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, culture or whatever − can itself at a given moment become crazy, as when various disciplines or lines of thought or schools within some discipline jockey for interpretative or institutional domination. Nobody wants to drop the hot potato of mental health from their hands, and at the same time cannot help forwarding it on, to others. This ostensible weakness can, it is true, be understood as an advantage, in which an incessant shifting of the approach to issues of the mind and its pathologies could be taken as a communalisation of the topic of mental health, in the sense that, speaking of the topic, we cannot manage without other and different approaches, however fervently we might be seeking for ultimate and simple answers or solutions. This does not necessarily have to mean warming up the idea of multi- or interdisciplinarity capable, in one way or another, of resolving all the dilemmas of all the experts in one big theory; rather, it refers to transverse intersections through the social machineries that will not only connect up heterogeneous elements but will do away with the division into experts and ignorants.