Monday, November 12, 2007

Your Best Years May Be Ahead of You

Worried that time has passed you by and you’ll die an unrecognized genius? Even if your worries are more mundane (paper or plastic? cheddar or swiss?) this article in Sunday’s Washington Post about the differences between the genius of youth and of older folk is worth checking out.

I found this encouraging:

"Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Arthur Rimbaud, Orson Welles and Bob Dylan all revolutionized their artistic disciplines before they turned 30. They were archetypal young geniuses. But Paul C├ęzanne, Mark Twain, William Butler Yeats, Alfred Hitchcock and Irving Berlin made equally important contributions to the same art forms, and they all produced their greatest work at 50 or older.

"The differences between these artists' creative life cycles are not accidental. Precocious young geniuses make bold and dramatic innovations -- think of Picasso's cubism -- and their work often expresses their ideas or feelings. Wise old masters, on the other hand, are experimental thinkers who proceed by trial and error. Their work, such as Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, often aims at realistic representations of what the artists see and hear.”

Bottom line, folks: No excuse not to keep plowing ahead! Never too late for "wise old masters."


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.