Analyzing Character eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about Analyzing Character.

[Illustration:  FIG. 38.  Richard Burton.  Author.  Has fine, sentimental, idealistic, artistic and literary talents, intellectual, creative and inventive ability, together with energy, determination, and ambition.  Note height and width of forehead; fulness back of upper corners; large, but finely chiseled features, and thoughtfully intense, but calm, serious, poised expression.]

[Illustration:  FIG. 39.  Mendelssohn, Composer.  Very refined, sensitive, responsive, emotional and delighted with appreciation and applause.  Creative, musical, capable of great industry and perseverance.  Note width of forehead at brows; large, glowing eyes; finely chiseled, regular features; short upper lip; beautifully curved lips; high head, rounded above temples.  Compare this with Figure 20.]

[Illustration:  FIG. 40.  Massenet, Composer.  Artistic ability, backed up by ambition, energy, determination, courage, and persistence.  Note width of lower portion of forehead; large, well-formed nose; firm mouth, jaw and chin; height and width of head; square hands and finger-tips.  Also very emotional and intense nature.  Note round, dome-shaped head, smooth fingers, and dreamy expression.]


The greatest artists, musicians, writers, and thinkers are men of genius and are, therefore, in a sense, abnormal.  Lombroso, in his work, “The Man of Genius,” produces a great deal of interesting evidence showing the similarity between the manifestations of genius and those of insanity.  Lombroso’s conclusions have been more or less discredited, but later investigations and practically all students agree that the true genius is more or less an abnormality.  In his case, some one or two faculties are developed out of all reasonable proportion to the others.  Naturally enough, in such cases there is no need for a vocational counsellor.  The genius devotes himself to his music, or his painting, or his writing, because there is nothing else he can do, nothing else in which he takes any interest, and because the inner urge is so powerful as to be irresistible.

But grossly deceived are those who imagine that the fire of genius burns away any necessity for drudgery.  On the other hand, genius seems to consist very largely of a capacity for almost infinite drudgery.  A prominent engineer once said to us that all great inventions which become commercially practicable are the joint product of a genius and a drudge, or rather, of a genius and a corps of drudges.  The genius, in a flash of inspiration, conceives a new idea.  Having conceived it, he can only sit down and wait for a new inspiration, while the drudges take his idea, work out its details, modify and conform it to conditions, and, finally, harness it to the commercial wagon.  This sounded well and has a great deal of truth in it.  Yet the most slavish drudge in the Edison laboratories and factories is Edison himself. 

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Analyzing Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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