Genius quotes

Art is a jealous mistress; and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.

- Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.

- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.

- Tocqueville, Alexis De

The man who succeeds above his fellows is the one who early in life, clearly discerns his object, and towards that object habitually directs his powers. Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius.

- Bulwer-Lytton, Edward G.

Being stuck is a position few of us like. We want something new but cannot let go of the old -- old ideas, beliefs, habits, even thoughts. We are out of contact with our own genius. Sometimes we know we are stuck; sometimes we don't. In both cases we have to DO something.

- Teekens, Inga

Men of genius are not quick judges of character. Deep thinking and high imagining blunt that trivial instinct by which you and I size people up.

- Beerbohm, Sir Max

A genius is just a talented person who does his homework.

- Thomas A. Edison

In science men have discovered an activity of the very highest value in which they are no longer, as in art, dependent for progress upon the appearance of continually greater genius, for in science the successors stand upon the shoulders of their predecessors; where one man of supreme genius has invented a method, a thousand lesser men can apply it.

- Russell, Bertrand

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The poverty from which I have suffered could be diagnosed as Soho poverty. It comes from having the airs and graces of a genius and no talent.

- Crisp, Quentin

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge available to us: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.

- Diderot, Denis

Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.

- Horace

The function of genius is not to give new answers, but to pose new questions which time and mediocrity can resolve.

- Trevor-Roper, H. R.

Genius, like truth, has a shabby and neglected mien.

- Dahlberg, Edward

Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.

- Samuel Butler

Genius is of no country.

- Charles Churchill

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius is limited.


Neurosis has an absolute genius for malingering. There is no illness which it cannot counterfeit perfectly. If it is capable of deceiving the doctor, how should it fail to deceive the patient?

- Proust, Marcel

Genius at first is little more than a great capacity for receiving discipline.

- Eliot, George

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

- Coolidge, Calvin

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