| Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered--either
by themselves or by others.
- Autobiography of Mark Twain
It is impossible that a genius--at least a literary genius--can ever be discovered by his intimates; they are so close to him that he is out of focus to them and they can't get at his proportions; they can't perceive that there is any considerable difference between his bulk and their own.
- Autobiography of Mark Twain, (reference to Jim Gillis)
Hunger is the handmaid of genius.
- Following the Equator
...genius itself succeeds only by arduous self-training...to play on the fiddle it is not merely necessary to take a bow and fiddle with it.
- "Contributors Club," Atlantic, 1/1877
Sam Clemens with
George Washington Cable
during their 1884-85 lecture tour.
Geniuses are people who dash off wierd, wild, incomprehensible poems with astonishing
facility, & then go & get booming drunk & sleep in the gutter. Genius
elevates a man to ineffable speres [sic] far above the vulgar world, & fills
his soul with a regal contempt for the gross & sordid things of earth. It
is probably on account of this that people who have genius do not pay their
board, as a general thing.
- Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals, vol. 1, 1855-1873, p. 250.
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