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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Romantic Genius

If we conceive ourselves as romantic geniuses, we will be at the mercy of inspiration and angst. We might have pictures of a guy in a t-shirt with a manual typewriter, smoking furiously all night and tearing sheets of paper out of the typewriter in frustration. The romantic genius is stormy and temperamental, maybe drinks too much, and lives in an attic.

Most academics, even the smart ones, don't fit into that paradigm. Getting a PhD and becoming successful does not require genius. Obviously i know some very intelligent people in academia, but most people I know are fairly ordinary, above-average type of folks.

1 comment:

Tanya Golash-Boza said...

I agree! Of course, this is what leads to the "imposter syndrome," where academics think they don't belong because they don't fit that imagined ideal type.