Genius is hard work


According to John Armstrong

Goethe’s productive genius … lay to a very large extent in his capacity for hard work, his willingness to accept (although hardly to enjoy) periods of rejection. But many of his admirers did not want to locate his genius – his creative abililty – in such strenuous and unappetising matters. They preferred a more superficial view of genius, one which could more readily be imitated.

Goethe was much annoyed by this attitude. He saw it, essentially, as a way of dealing with envy – by reducing the envied achievement to a level where its merits were easily copied. After all, it’s not hard to break rules.

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