The mania was always part of the magic. Now, with Robin Williams dead by his own hand at the age of 63, we can only wonder if that magic came at a costly price.

Of course, for those of us who didn’t know Williams, such wondering is grim, speculative and opportunistic. So let’s stick with the work and instead consider how Williams’ comedy attempted to make sense of the world. Observed in retrospect, his career seems maniacally and supersonically in search of a “peace that passes all…  [more]