The Myth of the Lone Genius

Today, the Romantic genius can be seen everywhere. Consider some typical dorm room posters — Freud with his cigar, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the pulpit, Picasso looking wide-eyed at the camera, Einstein sticking out his tongue. These posters often carry a poignant epigraph — “Imagination is more important than knowledge” — but the real message lies in the solitary pose.

In fact, none of these men were alone in the garrets of their minds. Freud developed psychoanalysis in a heated exchange with the physician Wilhelm Fliess, whom Freud called the “godfather” of “The Interpretation of Dreams”; King co-led the civil rights movement with Ralph Abernathy (“My dearest friend and cellmate,” King said). Picasso had an overt collaboration with Georges Braque — they made Cubism together — and a rivalry with Henri Matisse so influential that we can fairly call it an adversarial collaboration. Even Einstein, for all his solitude, worked out the theory of relativity in conversation with the engineer Michele Besso, whom he praised as “the best sounding board in Europe.”


Folksonomies: genius collaboration

/art and entertainment/movies and tv/romantic comedies (0.535527)
/style and fashion/men 's fashion (0.527138)
/science/social science/linguistics/translation (0.387190)

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Freud:Person (0.871431 (positive:0.337870)), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:Person (0.803298 (positive:0.242113)), Picasso:Person (0.644458 (positive:0.454731)), Einstein:Person (0.637245 (positive:0.615689)), Georges Braque:Person (0.459200 (positive:0.237024)), Henri Matisse:Person (0.451362 (positive:0.237024)), Wilhelm Fliess:Person (0.433469 (neutral:0.000000)), Ralph Abernathy:Person (0.423426 (positive:0.233685)), Michele Besso:Person (0.379757 (neutral:0.000000)), civil rights:FieldTerminology (0.338501 (positive:0.233685)), engineer:JobTitle (0.329135 (neutral:0.000000)), Europe:Continent (0.329004 (positive:0.498855))

Georges Braque (0.968142): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Pablo Picasso (0.910342): geo | website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Henri Matisse (0.907273): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Collage (0.835670): dbpedia | freebase
Fauvism (0.793405): dbpedia | freebase
Martin Luther King, Jr. (0.782873): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Ralph Abernathy (0.765891): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Sigmund Freud (0.746564): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 The End of ‘Genius’
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Shenk, Joshua Wolfe (07/19/2014), The End of ‘Genius’, New York Times, Retrieved on 2014-07-22
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: genius collaboration