A genius is a mentally ill person with an audience.
A genius knows how to make himself easily understood without being
obvious about it.
A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.
A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
A man who is a genius and doesn't know it, isn't.
-Stanislaw J. Lec
A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go
beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation.
Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.
All men of genius, and all those who have gained rank in the republic of
letters, are brothers, whatever may be the land of their nativity.
All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which
drives them forward towards their goal. The great scientists, the
philosophers, the religious leaders- all maniacs. What else but a blind
singlenee of purpose could have given focus to thier genius, would have
kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania... is as priceless as genius.
Almost always tradition is nothing but a record and a machine-made
imitation of the habits that our ancestors created. The average
conservative is a slave to the most incidental and trivial part of his
forefathers' glory- to the archaic formula which happened to express
their genius or the eighteenth-century contrivance by which for a time
it was served.
Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.
Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more
violent. It takes a touch of genius- and a lot of courage- to move in
the opposite direction.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power,
and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and
then the work will be completed.
Aside from a cold appreciation of my own genius I felt that I was a
-Robert A. Heinlein
Beauty can be as isolating as genius, or deformity. I have always been
aware of a relationship between madness and beauty.
By nature a philosopher is not in genius and disposition half so
different from a street porter, as a mastiff is from a greyhound.
Caricature is the tribute that mediocrity pays to genius.
Chance and intrigue have produced more heroes than genius and virtue.
Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.
Conceit spoils the finest genius.
-Louisa May Alcott
Contemporary criticism only represents the amount of ignorance genius
has to contend with.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley
Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of
Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its
Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.
Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is
impossible for talent is genius.
-Henri Frédéric Amiel
Dullness is so much stronger than genius because there is so much more
of it, and it is better organised and more naturally cohesive.
Butler (Novelist, 1835-1902)
Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of
madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and
the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and
aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and
vagaries of the crowd.
Equality has no place for genius.
Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.
Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his
fellows, and there is his tragedy.
Fathers are the geniuses of the house because only a person as
intelligent as we could fake such stupidity.
Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.
For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an
invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.
Genius all over the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of
recognition runs the whole circle round.
Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
Genius can only breathe free in an atmosphere of freedom.
Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
Genius is eternal patience.
Genius is fine for the ignition spark, but to get there someone has to
see that the radiator doesn't leak and no tire is flat.
Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.
Genius is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the
Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.
Leclerc de Buffon
Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts.
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Genius is only childhood recovered at will, childhood now gifted to
express itself with the faculties of manhood and with the analytic mind
that allows him to give order to the heap of unwittingly hoarded
Genius is the aptitude for seeing invisible things, for stirring
intangible things, for painting things that have no features.
Genius is the capacity for productive reaction against one's training.
Genius makes its observations in short-hand; talent writes them out at
Genius may conceive but patient labor must consummate.
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
Genius may write on the backs of old envelopes, but mere talent requires
the very best stationery money can buy.
Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
Genius only comes to those who know how to use their eyes and their
Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an
Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees
Geniuses and prophets do not usually excel in professional learning, and
their originality, if any, is often due precisely to the fact that they
-Joseph A. Schumpeter
Geniuses are like ocean liners; they should never meet.
Geniuses never pay attention.
Good sense travels on the well-worn paths; genius, never. And that is
why the crowd, not altogether without reason, is so ready to treat great
men as lunatics.
Great genius takes shape by contact with another great genius, but less
by assimilation than by friction.
Hollywood is full of genius. And all it lacks is talent.
How many young geniuses we have known, and none but ourselves will ever
hear of them for want in them of a little talent!
I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or
defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.
I think like anything, it helps to be born with skill. I'm not sure
If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read
Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we
may study his commentators.
If you knew how much work went into it, you would not call it genius.
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be
absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without
improvement are roads of genius.
In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they
come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
In his scientific genius, man has wrought material miracles and has
transformed his world. He has harnessed nature and has developed great
civilizations. But he has never learned very well how to live with
himself. The values he has created have been predominantly
materialistic; his spiritual values have lagged far behind. He has
demonstrated little spiritual genius and has made little progress toward
the realization of human brotherhood. In the contemporary atomic age,
this could prove man's fatal weakness.
In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better
than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the
end of it also.
It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much
doing nothing, really doing nothing.
It takes application, a fine sense of value, and a powerful
community-spirit for a people to have serious leisure, and this has not
been the genius of the Americans.
Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
-Fulton J. Sheen
Keep always in your mind, that, with due submission to Providence, a man
of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
Longevity is the revenge of talent upon genius.
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Men do not make their homes unhappy because they have genius, but
because they have not enough genius; a mind and sentiments of a higher
order would render them capable of seeing and feeling all the beauty of
Men of genius are not quick judges of character. Deep thinking and high
imagining blunt that trivial instinct by which you and I size people up.
Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labour in it,
but they labour in it because they excel.
Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for
they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect
idea that they subsequently express with their hands.
My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is
best brought out in bed.
Neither geniuses nor nature do things the same way twice.
Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast;
hold out. Patience is genius.
-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon
No man is entirely free from weakness and imperfection in this life. Men
of the most exalted genius and active minds are generally most perfect
slaves to the love of fame. They sometimes descend to as mean Rtricks
and artifices in pursuit of honor or reputation as the miser descends to
in pursuit of gold.
No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the
Nothing great or enduring, especially in music, has ever sprung
full-fledged and unprecedented from the brain of any master; the best he
gives to the world he gathers from the hearts of the people, and runs it
through the alembic of his genius.
-James Weldon Johnson
Nothing spoils a good party like a genius.
Only a great fool or a great genius is likely to flout all social grace
with impunity, and neither one, doing so, makes the most comfortable
Passion is the genesis of genius.
Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
People hate me because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy,
internationally famous genius.
People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize
how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. (From the
comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent
will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with
talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb. Education will
not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and
determination alone are omnipotent.
Real genius of moral insight is a motor which will start any engine.
Reason is mechanical, wit chemical, and genius organic spirit.
Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is
the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.
Since when was genius found respectable?
Southerners have a genius for psychological alchemy. If something
intolerable simply cannot be changed, driven away or shot they will not
only tolerate it but take pride in it as well.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one
else can see.
Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.
Talent is what you possess; genius is what possesses you.
Talent isn't genius, and no amount of energy can make it so.
Talent works for money and fame; the motive which moves genius to
productivity is, on the other hand, less easy to determine.
Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being
the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.
The daily life of a genius, his sleep, his digestion, he ecstasies, his
nails, his colds, his blood, his life and death are essentially
different from the rest of mankind.
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
The essence of genius is knowing what to overlook.
The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who
are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at
Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at
Bozo the Clown.
The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which
common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.
The genius of capitalism consists precisely in its lack of morality.
Unless he is rich enough to hire his own choir, a capitalist is a fellow
who, by definition, can ill afford to believe in anything other than the
doctrine of the bottom line. Deprive a capitalist of his God-given right
to lie and cheat and steal, and the poor sap stands a better than even
chance of becoming one of the abominable wards of the state from whose
grimy fingers the Reagan Administration hopes to snatch the ark of
-Lewis H. Lapham
The genius of communication is the ability to be both totally honest and
totally kind at the same time.
-John Joseph Powell
The genius of happiness is still so rare. To possess it means to
approach life with the humility of a beggar, but to treat it with the
proud generosity of a prince; to bring to its totality the deep
understanding of a great poet and to each of its moments the abandonment
and ingenuousness of a child.
The genius of impeachment lay in the fact that it could punish the man
without punishing the office.
-Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might
have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of
its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs.
J. Brennan, Jr.
The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid
moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the
possibility that there may be something to them we are missing.
The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented
the other three, he was a genius.
The labors of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever
fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.
The modes of expression of men of genius differ as much as their souls,
and it is impossible to say that in some among them, drawing and color
are better or worse than in others.
The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the
opening of new frontiers.
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
The relation of genius to talent is the same as that of instinct to
The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of
The soul of a landscape, the spirits of the elements, the genius of
every place will be revealed to a loving view of nature.
The truth is that our race survived ignorance; it is our scientific
genius that will do us in.
The works of genius are watered with its tears.
-Honoré de Balzac
The world wants geniuses, but it wants them to behave just like other
There have been only two authentic geniuses in the world, Willie Mays
and Willie Shakespeare.
There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this
There is no off position on the genius switch.
There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an
illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest
There's a fine line between what would characterize you as a troglodyte
and what would characterize you as a brilliant, avant-garde,
forward-thinking genius. There's some middle ground.
They say geniuses mostly have great mothers. They mostly have sad fates.
To do what others cannot do is talent. To do what talent cannot do is
To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. And easier. Because it's
true. It's a new world every heart beat.
To say that a great genius is half-mad, while recognizing his artistic
prowess, is worth as much as saying that he was rheumatic, or that he
suffered from diabetes. Madness, in fact, is a medical expression to
which a balanced critic should pay no more heed than he would to the
accusation of heresy brought by the theologian, or to the accusation of
immorality brought by the public prosecutor.
Unpretending mediocrity is good, and genius is glorious; but a weak
flavor of genius in an essentially common person is detestable . It
spoils the grand neutrality of a commonplace character, as the rinsings
of an unwashed wine-glass spoil a draught of fair water.
Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Upper berth, lower berth, that's the difference between talent and
What is pornography to one man may be the laughter of genius to another.
What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign,
that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Why create mediocrity when you can copy genius?
With the stones we cast at them, geniuses build new roads for us.
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