adding page this day:
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“Talent is its own expectation,” Wallace wrote in Infinite Jest, and he was, of course, correct: There’s a canny tautology to all of this. Genius, a means to godliness and its best evidence, cannot be argued with. Genius cannot be reasoned with. Genius is the answer and the question. It will be heard.It will be respected. Even when it kicks and stalks and climbs up the side of the house at night.
Here is the etymology the Oxford English Dictionary provides for the word genius, imported to English straight from the Latin: “male spirit of a family, existing in the head of the family and subsequently in the divine or spiritual part of each individual, personification of a person’s natural appetites, spirit or personality of an emperor regarded as an object of worship, spirit of a place, spirit of a corporation, (in literature) talent, inspiration, person endowed with talent, also demon or spiritual being in general.”
There’s more, but there’s already so much: genius, by definition a male condition. Genius, a male condition that inflects its maleness on the individual soul. Genius, an object of worship. Genius, perhaps slightly demonic. The derivation isn’t surprising on its own (no one would mistake a typical Roman for a feminist). What is striking, though, is that, millennia later, the biases of the language remain with us, tugging at the edges. Genius itself, the way we typically conceive of it, remains infused with the male gaze, or perhaps more aptly, the male haze: It is gendered by implication
And genius, itself, becomes its own kind of infrastructure. We have organized our art around its potential; we have organized our economy around its promise..t
Maria Popova (@brainpicker) tweeted at 6:01 AM – 9 Apr 2019 :
“Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will.”
Baudelaire, born on this day in 1821, on the genius of childhood https://t.co/euNL8ms9Rd (http://twitter.com/brainpicker/status/1115585409289990145?s=17)
“Children … are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth,” E.B. White
not yet scrambled ness
This supremacy of sensibility is no doubt due to the child’s voracious and indiscriminate curiosity, which furnishes a mastery at the art of observation superior to the adult’s by immeasurable orders of magnitude.
begs we try: 1 yr to be 5 ..
Inspiration has something in common with a convulsion, and that every sublime thought is accompanied by a more or less violent nervous shock which has its repercussion in the very core of the brain. The man of genius has sound nerves, while those of a child are weak. With the one, Reason has taken up a considerable position; with the other, Sensibility is almost the whole being.
But genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will — a childhood now equipped for self-expression with manhood’s capacities and a power of analysis which enables it to order the mass of raw material which it has involuntarily accumulated.
[The great artist is one] who is never for a moment without the genius of childhood — a genius for which no aspect of life has become stale… master of that only too difficult art — sensitive spirits will understand me — of being sincere without being absurd.