Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will


Charles Baudelaire: 

"Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man’s physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed."

A much better definition of genius than most of the ones that are trotted out, like infinite capacity for taking pains. Creative geniuses and all artists are always children, but with sufficient maturity to provides the discipline that genius requires and children lack. 

This rule applies to evil geniuses, too. They have exactly that childlike quality as well.


  1. A very fine quote indeed but I would add some points:
    - Childhood and the analytical mind usually don't go together; the one usually cancels out the other
    - Most children and genius's that I've come across lack discipline and maturity -- and that is quite right. So it's no not the keyword I would use

    You know Marquez wrote all his books on memories of his first 4 years? I read this in a brilliant book called Whereabouts by Alastair Reid