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Published Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 12:21 PM EDT
Apr 23 2016

A genius is a mentally ill person with an audience.
-Tim Minchin

A genius knows how to make himself easily understood without being obvious about it.
-Jean Anouilh

A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.
-Ezra Pound

A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
-Samuel Johnson

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.
-Max Gluckman

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.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

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.
-Ian Fleming

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.
-Walter Lippmann

Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.
-Charles Bukowski

Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.
-Woody Guthrie

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.
-E.F. Schumacher

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.
-Jean Anouilh

Aside from a cold appreciation of my own genius I felt that I was a modest man.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Beauty can be as isolating as genius, or deformity. I have always been aware of a relationship between madness and beauty.
-Richard Avedon

By nature a philosopher is not in genius and disposition half so different from a street porter, as a mastiff is from a greyhound.
-Adam Smith

Caricature is the tribute that mediocrity pays to genius.
-Oscar Wilde

Chance and intrigue have produced more heroes than genius and virtue.
-Maximilien Robespierre

Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.
-George Bernard Shaw

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 genius.
-Edward Gibbon

Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its only bulwark.
-William James

Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.
-Benjamin Disraeli

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.
-Samuel 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.
-Edith Sitwell

Equality has no place for genius.
-Allan Bloom

Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows, and there is his tragedy.
-Havelock Ellis

Fathers are the geniuses of the house because only a person as intelligent as we could fake such stupidity.
-Bill Cosby

Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.
-Robertson Davies

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.
-Albert Einstein

Genius all over the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.
-Herman Melville

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
-Joseph Joubert

Genius can only breathe free in an atmosphere of freedom.
-John Stuart Mill

Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
-Vladimir Nabokov

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.
-Rex Stout

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.
-E.B. White

Genius is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the surrounding gloom.
-Stanislaw Lem

Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.
-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts.
-Elbert Hubbard

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
-Thomas A. Edison

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 material.
-Charles Baudelaire

Genius is the aptitude for seeing invisible things, for stirring intangible things, for painting things that have no features.
-Joseph Joubert

Genius is the capacity for productive reaction against one's training.
-Bernard Berenson

Genius makes its observations in short-hand; talent writes them out at length.
-Christian Bovee

Genius may conceive but patient labor must consummate.
-Horace Mann

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
-Elbert Hubbard

Genius may write on the backs of old envelopes, but mere talent requires the very best stationery money can buy.
-Jan Struther

Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
-John Dryden

Genius only comes to those who know how to use their eyes and their intelligence.
-Auguste Rodin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
-Benjamin Franklin

Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
-William James

Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.
-Ezra Pound

Geniuses and prophets do not usually excel in professional learning, and their originality, if any, is often due precisely to the fact that they do not.
-Joseph A. Schumpeter

Geniuses are like ocean liners; they should never meet.
-Louis Aragon

Geniuses never pay attention.
-Michael Crichton

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.
-Cesare Lombroso

Great genius takes shape by contact with another great genius, but less by assimilation than by friction.
-Heinrich Heine

Hollywood is full of genius. And all it lacks is talent.
-Henri Bernstein

How many young geniuses we have known, and none but ourselves will ever hear of them for want in them of a little talent!
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.
-Max Beerbohm

I think like anything, it helps to be born with skill. I'm not sure genius exists.
-William Goldman

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.
-William Hazlitt

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.
-Marilyn Monroe

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.
-William Blake

In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.
-Ralph Bunche

In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

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.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
-Gertrude Stein

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.
-Paul Goodman

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.
-Samuel Johnson

Longevity is the revenge of talent upon genius.
-Cyril Connolly

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
-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 domestic ties.
-William Wordsworth

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.
-Max Beerbohm

Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labour in it, but they labour in it because they excel.
-William Hazlitt

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.
-Leonardo da Vinci

My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.
-Allen Ginsberg

Neither geniuses nor nature do things the same way twice.
-Jamie Buckingham

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.
-John Adams

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.
-Christopher Morley

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.
-Elsa Maxwell

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 companion.
-Any Vanderbilt

Passion is the genesis of genius.
-Tony Robbins

Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
-Benjamin Disraeli

People hate me because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius.
-Jerry Lewis

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)
-Bill Watterson

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.
-Calvin Coolidge

Real genius of moral insight is a motor which will start any engine.
-Edmund Wilson

Reason is mechanical, wit chemical, and genius organic spirit.
-Karl 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.
-George Sand

Since when was genius found respectable?
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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.
-Florence King

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.
-Bernard Williams

Talent is what you possess; genius is what possesses you.
-Malcolm Cowley

Talent isn't genius, and no amount of energy can make it so.
-Louisa May Alcott

Talent works for money and fame; the motive which moves genius to productivity is, on the other hand, less easy to determine.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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.
-Salvador Dali

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
-Ian Fleming

The essence of genius is knowing what to overlook.
-William James

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.
-Carl Sagan

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.
-Walter Lippmann

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 democracy.
-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.
-Ellen Key

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.
-William 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.
-Gamel Abdel Nasser

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.
-Sid Caesar

The labors of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.
-Mary Shelley

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.
-Auguste Rodin

The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
-Arthur Koestler

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
-Oscar Wilde

The relation of genius to talent is the same as that of instinct to reason.
-Jules Renard

The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.
-Rebecca Sinkler

The soul of a landscape, the spirits of the elements, the genius of every place will be revealed to a loving view of nature.
-Karl Jaspers

The truth is that our race survived ignorance; it is our scientific genius that will do us in.
-Stephen Vizinczey

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 people.
-George Moore

There have been only two authentic geniuses in the world, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.
-Tallulah Bankead

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
-Oscar Levant

There is no off position on the genius switch.
-David Letterman

There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.
-Walt Whitman

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.
-Michael Eisner

They say geniuses mostly have great mothers. They mostly have sad fates.
-D.H. Lawrence

To do what others cannot do is talent. To do what talent cannot do is genius.
-Will Henry

To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. And easier. Because it's true. It's a new world every heart beat.
-Joyce Carey

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.
-James Joyce

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.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Upper berth, lower berth, that's the difference between talent and genius.
-George Gershwin

What is pornography to one man may be the laughter of genius to another.
-D.H. Lawrence

What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
-Oscar Levant

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
-Jonathan Swift

Why create mediocrity when you can copy genius?
-Variously attributed

With the stones we cast at them, geniuses build new roads for us.
-Paul Eldridge

Categories: Genius


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