The reason we have so few geniuses is that people do not have faith in what they know to be true.
Genius learns from nature. Talent learns from art.
Genius is to believe your own thought. To believe what is true for you is ultimately true.
Genius is the ability to see the obvious.
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are the portals of discovery.
There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.
It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. If he is more than a popular story-teller it may take humanity a generation to absorb and grow accustomed to the new geography with which the scientist or artist presents us. Even then, perhaps only the more imaginative and literate may accept him. Subconsciously the genius is feared as an image breaker; frequently he does not accept the opinions of the mass, or man’s opinion of himself.
It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
A genius is the man in whom you are least likely to find the power of attending to anything insipid or distasteful in itself. He breaks his engagements, leaves his letters unanswered, neglects his family duties incorrigibly, because he is powerless to turn his attention down and back from those more interesting trains of imagery with which his genius constantly occupies his mind.
The genius differs from us men in being able to endure isolation, his rank as a genius is proportionate to his strength for enduring isolation, whereas we men are constantly in need of “the others,” the herd; we die, or despair, if we are not reassured by being in the herd, of the same opinion as the herd.
Man as an individual is a genius. But men in the mass form the Headless Monster, a great, brutish idiot that goes where prodded.
Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
Genius is its own reward; for the best that one is, one must necessarily be for oneself… Further, genius consists in the working of the free intellect, and as a consequence the productions of genius serve no useful purpose. The work of genius may be music, philosophy, painting, or poetry; it is nothing for use or profit. To be useless and unprofitable is one of the characteristics of genius; it is their patent of nobility.
What makes men of genius, or rather, what they make, is not new ideas, it is that idea – possessing them – that what has been said has still not been said enough.
The great things in life are what they seem to be. And for that reason, strange as it may sound to you, often are very difficult to interpret (understand).
Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.
The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius.
Genius makes its observations in short-hand; talent writes them out at length.
A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see, and hits it.
Genius is the capacity for productive reaction against one’s training.
Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.
So few people think. When we find one who really does, we call him a genius.
Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider, and should be wise in season, and not fetter himself with duties which will imbitter his days and spoil him for his proper work.
Genius has somewhat of the infantine; but of the childish not a touch or taint.
Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.