Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Chapter 31: On Genius (Talent vs. Genius)

Mere men of talent always come at the right time; for, as they are roused by the spirit of their age and are called into being by its needs, they are only just capable of satisfying them. They therefore go hand in hand with the advancing culture of their contemporaries, or with the gradual advancement of a special science; for this they reap reward and approbation. But to the next generation their works are no longer enjoyable ; they must be replaced by others; and these do not fail to appear. The genius, on the other hand, lights on his age like a comet into the paths of the planets, to whose well-regulated and comprehensible arrangement its wholly eccentric course is foreign. Accordingly, he cannot go hand in hand with the regular course of the culture of the times as found; on the contrary, he casts his works far out on to the path in front (just as the emperor, giving himself up to death, flings his spear among the enemy), on which time has  first to overtake them. His relation to the culminating men of talent during his time might be expressed in the words of the Evangelist: “My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready.” Talent is able to achieve what is beyond other people’s capacity to achieve, yet not what is beyond their capacity of apprehension; therefore it at once  finds its appreciators. The achievement of genius, on the other hand, transcends not only others’ capacity of achievement, but also their capacity of apprehension; therefore they do not become immediately aware of it. Talent is like the marksman who hits a target which others cannot reach; genius is like the marksman who hits a target, as far as which others cannot even see.

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