Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Emerson quote Interpretation?

"In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty"

Can anybody ellaborate on the meaning of this?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Ya - I don't know if I agree with it, but I think I understand what he's saying. When we see genius, we are seeing ideas that we ourselves had at one time but dismissed them as foolish or not worth pursuing. Personally I think that's a bit generous! But continuing on, he says we recognize them coming back to us with an alienated majesty which is a dramatic way of saying they seem a bit strange and like they're brilliant or important now.

    I disagree. I think some people genuinely come up with genius ideas I would never in my life and yours too have come up with. Emerson is giving ME too much credit, if not everyone.

  • 1 decade ago

    Genius often consists of looking at something differently. A true work of genius often reminds us of thoughts we've had, but not been able to follow through. Although these thoughts are familiar, the genius has turned them into something we could not manage; they are "alienated" by having been taken where we could not follow, and have the "majesty" of the completed achievement of the work.

    For example, I saw a few days ago an op-ed piece in the newspaper, satirizing another writer in a way I had wanted to, but I hadn't seen how to make it work.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most of the people are dum, but when you see something genius you feel for seconds the power of your mind and you think for a while you are actually the smartest person on earth.

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