I have always had a problem with literary geniuses. Or mostly with people being referred to as literary geniuses. At first I thought it was a gender thing. I was annoyed that most “geniuses” were men. Then I thought, you know, maybe the problem isn’t gender, it’s just pure jealousy. I want to be a “literary genius.”
But I think I found my real problem with geniuses when I recently read a work that someone promised me was genius: I read it and I was like, eh. And then I felt dumb for not seeing the genius in it. I felt crazy. Inadequate. Superficial. Because I couldn’t see the genius. I felt like an outsider in the genius club.
And then I was like, wait, this is ridiculous. That any one person could be a genius. That any one person is capable of deciding if someone else is genius.
And genius itself. Sometimes I have called people geniuses. Sometimes I used to. But I think I used the word genius as a cloak. To disguise, either feelings of great misunderstanding. Or great love.
Anyway, I’m done putting people on pedestals.