When a modern person thinks of artistic genius, they imagine an individual. Some have quantified genius by standardized exams – for example, the I.Q. test – but most know a genius by his work. The Brothers Karamazov is proof that Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a genius. Be it Shakespeare, Mozart, or Michelangelo, the man of genius is epoch-making because his work acutely affects history and seems to redefine our basic categories of human potential. Yet in our common imagination, the artistic genius is not only an individual of excellent output, but an individual of a certain disposition. The man of genius is exceptional in intelligence, originality, and creativity. While free from all that restrains the average person, he bears the greatest burden of all: the burden of being him.
more from Michael Toscano at Curator here. (h/t bookforum)