chapter  4
18 Pages

Genius: ordinary and extraordinary

This is an attempt to differentiate the praise of extraordinary, ‘offi cial’ works of genius from an appreciation of the innumerable expressions of ‘unoffi cial’ everyday creativity – which are usually vulnerable to obscurity. In one sense genius is historical, public and acclaimed, while in another, it is personal, private, psychological. In writings about creativeness we recognise these two different senses of ‘creativity.’ And even though the context often supports one or the other, they are at times used interchangeably. And yet, there are constant oscillations and contradictions even in those outlooks that are in favour of a sharp, essentialist difference between ordinary and extraordinary creativity.