Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Chain Link

Giving credit where credit is due department: David Galenson "discovered" it, Daniel Pink wrote about it, Wired published it, Jilly Dybka (Poetry Hut Blog) posted it, C.Dale Young linked to it, Robert Thomas pointed me to it. I'm talking about this theory that there are two kinds of geniuses, the ones whose brilliance flowers at an early age (the Conceptualists) and the ones who slowly come into their own later in life (the Experimentalists). Wow! You can see right off why this excites me; it means hope for those of us who have gray hair as well as gray matter (heh, heh -- figuratively speaking, because I'm not gray) and have more lines in their faces than their bios.

I'm actually interested in the whole concept of creativity and genius, beyond the need to prop up my perennially sagging self-esteem. I've always wondered how much opportunity, encouragement, and, well, luck has to do with the making of genius. You may think I'm finding excuses yet again, but take, for instance, everyone's favorite example of genius: Picasso. What he painted at fourteen just totally boggles the mind. But. Picasso's dad was an artist. No genius, he was a competent painter who was also a teacher. He recognized young Pablo's talent. (In fact, it is said that he gave the 16-year-old Pablo his brushes and he himself never painted again.)

What if Picasso had a dad like mine? My dad refused to let me apply to a liberal arts college with a creative writing department because, he said, no self-respecting man would ever go there. Note: I'm not now nor ever was a man. But Dad was sending me to college to get married, and the kind of man that filled the bill didn't apply there.

I'm just commenting. This is light years away from the article referenced above. But it ties in with it in my mind as well as to other reports I've been reading about young women who don't consider themselves Feminists (and, bless 'em, don't need to).

Over and out, for now.

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