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Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas are Born

Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas are Born
Author: Denise Shekerjian
ISBN 13: 9780140109863
ISBN 10: 140109862
Edition: Reissue
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1991-02-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
List Price: $16.00

Everyone from the budding entrepreneur to the weekend writer is looking for a great idea. Even Friedrich Nietzsche said that "ideas come when they want, not when I want." But where do great ideas come from?

In this searching look into the essence of creativity, forty winners of the coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship - the so-called "genius award" - provide a glimpse inside their own experience of the creative process. Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, opera director Peter Sellars, poets Joseph Brodsky and Brad Leithauser, social scientists Robert Coles and Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot, and others in fields as diverse as filmmaking, carpentry, and anthropology reveal how they sneak up on creativity. Blending conversation, theory, and examples from literature and life, this absorbing, thought-provoking book will also show you how to harness the creative spark in your life.

Publishers Weekly

Poets John Ashbery and Joseph Brodsky, ecologist Lester Brown, psychiatrist Robert Coles, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, filmmakers John Sayles and Frederick Wiseman, writers Brad Leithauser and Ved Mehta, woodworker Sam Maloof and comic Bill Irwin are among the 40 MacArthur fellows who discuss the subject of creativity with Shekerjian ( Competent Counsel ), who proves to be an effective interviewer and catalyst. They express their thoughts about talent and genius, instinct and judgment; the effects of despair, isolation and madness; and the importance of inspiration, drive and discipline, learning through doing, taking advantage of luck, ``staying loose'' and building resiliency. (Feb.)