#AToZAprilChallenge: Genius

Salvatore Bruno Wikipedia: “A genius is a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of an unprecedented leap of insight. This may refer to a particular aspect of an individual, or the individual in his or her entirety; to a scholar in many subjects (e.g. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz or Leonardo da Vinci)[1] or a scholar in a single subject (e.g., Albert Einstein or Charles Darwin). There is no scientifically precise definition of genius, and the question of whether the notion itself has any real meaning has long been a subject of debate.”

Genius came into English from C14, in its main Latin sense  – from genius – a guardian spirit. It was extended to mean ‘a characteristic disposition or quality’ from C16, as still in ‘every man has his genius’ (Johnson, 1780), and ‘barbarous and violent genius of the age’ (Hume, 1754). The development towards the dominate modern meaning of ‘extraordinary ability’ is complex; it occurred, interactively, in both English and French, and later German. It seems to have been originally connected with the idea of ‘spirit’ through the notion of ‘inspiration’… This sense is always close to the developing sense of Creative… A good test case is ‘the English genius for compromise’. (Keywords)

#Diary of a #Writer – December 11

Pythagoras, SamosToday’s is a bright, frosty morning, perfect for writing. Sol, already near its zenith, is about to turn around the corner of the house, and for a couple hours the garden and my desk will be lit by the subdued colours of a clear winter sky. Small patches of frost-free grass appear along the hedge…

Characters and scenes are slowly falling into place, the novel has made more progress in the past two weeks than in the previous four months. The Angel helped a lot: one should never neglect one’s Angel. And I have been asking myself about this: if someone – deity, daemon or superior aliens (superior as in “wiser” than us and more experienced – “ancient” maybe) – is observing us, what do “they” see? What do they think of the way “we” persecute the weak, the poor, the lost, the other species – how we torture our world, incinerate cities, molest women and children, murder people with drones or other assassins, etc…? The liars of the politicians, the cowardice of the media, the greed of the powerful? What does it mean to “them”? How do “they” judge us, if at all? It may be that one day, a lovely winter day like this, we will get the answer we deserve to those questions. In the meantime is it right to make this a matter of fiction?

Turning the page, as this is only one of the many questions writers should ask themselves, I am simply happy the way things are going, as writing goes. A way was found to link the past to the present, actual or imagined, to marry reality to the dream, and the story feels the better for it – or at least I hope it will, to the readers. The books I have most admired are those that allow the reader some freedom of interpretation of one of the pivotal characters. For example in The Stand, Mother Abagail. She sees and never judges, and she appears powerless, and yet… In Snow Crash, Y.T., the kourier, Hiros’ not so secret love and guardian. So I have latched on one of those, and her character is developing well. There is a degree of ambiguity as to where her loyalty – or patience – lies, that is how long she’s prepared to witness the misbehaviour of the rest of us. The other characters are taking notice, fortunately for them and for the story, they will soon get out of themselves and their parochial prejudices, and see the light. So will I.

There is a lot of material to edit, some of which will be moved to the bin, as it should. How far am I to have a complete draft? Please note I did not write “first draft” since whatever there is has already been edited and rewritten at least twice! At this point I cannot predict, possibly till the summer, who knows! I am in no hurry to complete, but I want to make progress. The opposite is demotivating!