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Unread November 19th, 2004, 04:04 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol.2, Pt. II (A Study of Organ Inferiority)-Artists

I find two of Adler's comments about genius, especially interesting: "Genius is to be defined as no more than supreme usefulness;" and "the highest talent is conditioned by the greatest defect of which it gains is particular mode of concentration" (The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler, edited by Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher, page 153). Manu, since I am not familiar with the work of Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, I did an Internet search, but found only documents in German. Does he link genius and pathology?

Below, are a few more excerpts about organ inferiority. However, the comment about Gustav Mahler is a fascinating "simulation of an inferiority."

Inferiorities of Size and Shape

Cradles of Eminence," by Victor and Mildred Goertzel, offers abundant examples of positive and negative compensations for physical inferiorities and disabilities.

Being smaller than other children, particularly if one is a boy can often make adjustment difficult. Some slight youths become belligerent; others withdraw. Fiorello LaGuadia, the dynamic and controversial mayor of New York was barely five feet tall. Arthur Koestler, the Hungarian born novelist and journalist, feeling inferior because of his shortness, turned to learning and away from social contact. T.E. Lawrence cursed his "littleness." Thomas Hardy, J.M. Barrie, Henry Ford, Hamlin Garland, Joseph Goebbles, Maurice Ravel, Adolf Hitler, and Mohandas Gandhi were small boys.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz suffered from a spinal deformity. Not only a great electrical engineer, he set up special programs for retarded children. William O. Douglas, justice of the Supreme Court, suffered from infantile paralysis. He eventually strengthened his thin legs by becoming an avid mountaineer. In addition to being small, Joseph Goebbles, limped all his life from a foreshortened leg. Although he idolized his devoted mother, he had bitter contempt for the rest of humanity. By contrast, Gustav Mahler did not limp because he was physically malformed; he reportedly limped because his mother was crippled and he wanted to share her pain with her. Ring Lardner wore braces on a misshapen foot. Eleanor Roosevelt, Bella Bartok, and Jane Adams had spinal problems. Joseph Stalin had a withered arm and webbed toes. Orozco, after he lost his left hand, resigned himself to becoming an artist. Constantin Stanislavksi became an actor to overcome clumsiness.
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Last edited by Henry Stein; November 19th, 2004 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling.
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