"WHERE does creativity come from? For centuries, we’ve had a clear answer: the lone genius. The idea of the solitary creator is such a common feature of our cultural landscape (as with Newton and the falling apple) that we easily forget it’s an idea in the first place. But the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at “The Daily Show” or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney and myriad other examples with which we’ve yet to fully reckon... In 1710, Britain enacted its first copyright law, establishing authors as the legal owners of their work and giving new cultural currency to the idea of authors as originators. This is when we start to see the modern use of “genius.” In an essay published in 1711, Joseph Addison cited Shakespeare as a “remarkable instance” of “these great natural geniuses” — those lit up by an inner light and freed from dependence on previous models."
Sunday, July 20, 2014
The End of ‘Genius’; New York Times, 7/19/14
Joshua Wolf Shenk, New York Times; The End of ‘Genius’ :