"There's a sailor's tavern at the end of the street where I could find companionship if I chose (one catches salty boys going in and out at any hour) but only music matters to me now."
Nietzsche - who famously went 'mand' and whom, it has been suggested, suffered from manic depression
Public DomainNietzsche - who famously went 'mad' and whom, it has been suggested, suffered from manic depression - Credit: F. Hartmann

A subjective interpretation though this is, it would seem that Robert Frobisher is in the throws of a manic episode, thus strongly indicating that he suffers from bipolar disorder. The sleeplessness, the obsessive drive towards a creative goal (to the exclusion of everything else including sex), his financial recklessness (why one of the most expensive hotels in Bruges?), his impetuousness, the expansive even imperial nature of his prose, his agitated and violent state when he confronts Eva - all serve to convince me that Frobisher is suffering from what is now a widely recognised form of mental illness. The cyclical nature of bipolar further widens the book's exploration of the theme of circularity (see below).