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Subjective Envy Most of us at one time or another have called someone a genius The connotation is usually quite positive It brings to mind images of Plato Maria Curie and Blaise Pascal All of these people seemed to possess genius according to the dictionary definition someone with extraordinary intellectual ability originality and creative power someone excelling in a strong natural talent Dictionarycom pars 1 However the dictionary has too many conflicting variations on the definition to be of any serious help Consider Vincent van Gogh He has long been considered a genius with incredible talent However would one still consider him a genius if one knew that he was a terrible learner and had spent years working in first-class art galleries before he even began to seriously take up painting Keep in mind he was not painting simply for self-satisfaction he desperately wanted a serious career and to make a living from his art But even with his gallery experience intense desire and the fact that his brother was an art dealer he was still completely incompetent at selling his work He focused on portraits a booming business at that time hoping that someone would want to pay for a likeness painted by van Gogh However there were no takers - even though he was charging such a meager amount that he could not have afforded to live solely off of it At that time no one would pay any attention to even the best of his works Considering the previous information would one still consider van Gogh a genius According to the dictionary yes someone with a talent ahead of their time should be enough to make them a genius It is surprising then that van Goghs peers did not in fact consider him to be a genius That means that something integral was missing that genius requires more than just creativity and originality There must be other qualifications possessed by the
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