Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Nature of Genius

It is difficult to write about genius without wanting to articulate the peculiarity of it. Genius strikes us as a unique phenomenon, as existing in a class of its own, and who wouldn't like to be able to say that they have risen to that level? 

But the task is demanding, partly because it is difficult to capture the nature of genius, and partly because genius takes on so many forms. We can rhapsodize it, we can offer some kind of illuminating analysis, we can call on our poetic talent, our dramatic sense, our metaphorical power, our depth of characterization: but what we really seek is something that exists inside us, something that will single us out - that conveys the particular quality of genius we wish to express. 

What takes the usual talents of an individual of their particular calling to a higher degree? What distinction lies in the quality of work which one produces? Upon what capacious versatility does genius draw? 


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