WINSLOW, in his Anatomy of Suicide, says, “A person who accustoms himself to live in a world created by his own fancy, who surrounds himself with flimsy idealities, will, in the course of time, cease to sympathize with the gross realities of life,” and any one who will take the trouble to read the biographies of men of genius will see that this statement is borne out to a remarkable degree. Probably the most striking example of this doctrine, as well as the most pathetic instance of suicide in the annals of literature, is found in the records of Chatterton’s short life….
They were refreshingly brutal about it.
Evidence is not lacking to warrant the assumption that genius is a special morbid condition, and the anthropological school of which Lombroso is the brilliant master is daily gaining converts. Although the doctrines which he advocates have recently received a remarkable impetus, they are not essentially new. Centuries ago Seneca taught that there was no great genius without a tincture of madness, and Cicero spoke of the furor poeticus. It is also more than a hundred years since Diderot exclaimed: “Oh, how close the insane and men of genius touch! They are chained, or statues are raised to them.” Lamartine speaks of the mental disease called genius; Pascal says that extreme mind is akin to extreme madness; and everybody is familiar with Dryden’s couplet:“Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.”
Don’t worry, these are very short.
“loss of moral sense, morbid vanity” – oh yes.
Degeneracy is often combined with the illusion of genius (narcissism) via that vanity and enabled by the skewed moral priorities, almost always hedonistic (the original hedons actually had limits).
“Lankester’s oft-quoted definition of degeneration was ‘a gradual change of the structure in which the organism becomes adapted to less varied and less complex conditions of life’”
That awkward moment when Wagner is degenerate.
Easiest way to tell a genius from a narcissist?
The narcissist will never commit suicide – it would be killing the only thing they ever loved. They’re cowards and the type to beg and cry for their life, whatever their crimes. The type to think begging and confabulation are ‘clever’ manipulations.
The genius will die for something greater than themselves, which the other cannot conceive and labels stupidity, often perverting Darwin in course (having never read Darwin, clearly).
Degenerates have inferior evolutionary fitness only suitable for a decadent society, and only capable of speeding in that direction of entropy (developing chaos). They are unfit for the honour of parenthood.