On a tangentially-related note to my last post, suricattus posted this short commentary on channeling pain - and, more generally, human experience - towards creativity. (You know it's a cool post because Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers is quoted in it.)
I wonder if this is true for media of expression other than theatre and writing? It must be, to some extent, but I'm not qualified to talk about the artist's pain in the visual or choreographic genres. I think that in the melodic (and the programmatic, for that matter) it's tied in with creativity being equated with originality. A case in point that Suri might not have had in mind: Deep Blue's detractors lauded Kasparov for his "recognizably human" style of play and (some of them) denounced Deep Blue as an entity that "played obviously like a machine".
Kasparov himself said something to the effect that Deep Blue had reached the godlike level of anticipation and was challenging but inhuman in that regard. So, here we have a chess-playing comptuer that is capable of drawing or defeating the human world champion in tournament play, but is sent home because it's too unfeeling for its opponents. (I'm not being facetious here: I don't ascribe anthromorphic features to systems of Deep Blue's limited complexity, but neither do I chalk it up to sour grapes as some computational apologists or meta-critics would.)
Um... it's probably a sign that I am abusing my second wind that I keep thinking of that bald guy in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier saying to Spock's brother Sybok, "What do you know of my pain?"