Saturday, June 18, 2022

Trying for laughs …

 P.G. Wodehouse and the Idea of Genius - Front Porch Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… the unlikely, unexpected nature of his verbal wizardry marks it all the more readily as genius. An essential criterion of genius, after all, is that we can’t explain its origin. It seems to come out of nowhere, perhaps even from some otherworldly source. The more limited and specific the type of genius, moreover, the more uncanny it seems. We take Einstein’s genius for granted and make his name synonymous with intellectual brilliance. Shakespeare looms, the unapproachable Bard, his genius self-evident as the sun. But that a conventionally educated popular writer should become a giant of English prose—that gives us pause. It disrupts our assumptions about achievement, and changes how we view the people around us.

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