Genius, pt. XII

One of the people that Eric Weiner met in Edinburgh for “The Geography of Genius” was Donald Campbell, a playwright and essayist knowledgeable about the past and present Edinburgh. When the author asked the playwright what he loved about Edinburgh, Donald Campbell said intimacy.

The author was not expecting that answer, but it made complete sense to him because he believes that “places of genius are not only densely populated, they are also intimate, and intimacy always includes a degree of trust.”

“The Greek philosophers and poets gathered at a symposium trusted one another, so a degree of intimacy was established. Verrocchio trusted his craftsmen to complete their assigned tasks. Today, the cities and companies that excel creatively are those where trust and intimacy are high.”

I can somehow imagine how trust and intimacy can lead to creative genius especially if intimacy creates an exchange of ideas, but intimacy isn’t something people usually talk about when they talk about genius. Perhaps that is something we should change.