Can a "genius" or a "real artist" be a decent pers
Posted 03 February 2003 - 03:55 PM
I put "Elusive Muse" into the VCR again recently and noted that Suzanne Farrell's mother had her own take on this issue. Under normal circumstances she might have been expected to object to a sexagenerian displaying erotic interest in her teenaged daughter, but in this case, "He was a genius!"
Posted 07 February 2003 - 11:47 AM
For every great human artist -- Yo Yo Ma comes to mind -- there are people whose company you would shun and people whose personality you simply don't care about. Would you do a kindness/character screen on the best heart surgeon in town if you really needed his talents?
Posted 07 February 2003 - 06:03 PM
when you write "Genius and good character are no more or less likely to mix ", it seems to me that, in general, we may be more likely to ASSUME that good character WOULD mix with genius - since 'genius' seems like a virtuous quality, as is "good character".
i guess it comes down to how one defines 'genius'.
is it an amoral description - extraordinary competence AT something/anything? or is it more than that - a complex of human qualities?
i suppose one COULD define hitler as a genius AT what he did...
but i would never have put that word together with his name - i guess 'genius' DOES have some moral meaning to me - which is a bit wierd, when i think about it. i guess i grew up assuming the word 'genius' was attached to 'good' people - which must be where we are getting this discussion from. maybe lots of us grew up thinking that....
Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:32 PM
He was the "father of the Atomic Bomb".
He only showed "good character" when he stood up to the US government and tried to reverse the horrors his Manhattan Project team had unleashed.
By contrast, Werner VonBraun was a genius at rocket science.
He actively, and happily built V2 missiles for the Nazis. He supervised the use of slave labor for his rocket program. He never had a problem with that, denying it was of any importance til the day he died. This was not a "good character".
My point is that genius brings consequences to the world. How the genius handles these consequences, is sometimes more important than the worldly effects of the work they leave behind.
VonBraun eventually put the US on the moon. Except for American chest puffing what has that really amounted to?
Having recently viewed a documentary of his waltz with Hitler, I felt ashamed for him. Some genius.
Posted 07 February 2003 - 09:01 PM
This has little to do with what Watermill has written, which falls well within the bounds of interesting and impassioned discourse, but just because we've had a somewhat rough night here at Board Host Central, may I ask that we neither a: invoke Godwin's Law nor b: venture too far into the quicksand of politics. . .at least tonight.
That being said, further discussion from all parties is welcome.
[Board Host Beanie off.]
edited to replace non-functioning link
Edited by carbro, 03 August 2005 - 08:16 PM.
Posted 08 February 2003 - 06:39 AM
Posted 13 February 2003 - 05:36 AM
Posted 13 February 2003 - 08:01 AM
Posted 13 February 2003 - 08:04 AM
Posted 03 August 2005 - 05:45 PM
Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:10 PM
I don't have much to say--just that I don't care how much of a genius someone is; if his/her behavior is outright rude or cruel or unreasonable (as opposed to minorly impolite) I wouldn't work with him/her.
Anecdotally, many people don't consider Béjart to be a genius, but then, many others do, and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. In terms of an artist who is difficult to work with, look no further can Kathleen Battle. Everyone agrees she's a great singer, but she's so horrible to work with that she's been banned from every major opera house in the US...and then contrast with Renée Fleming, who is an even greater singer than Battle and by all accounts extremely nice.
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