“‘I don’t search, Picasso was saying, I find’: the aphorism marks exactly the frontier that separates ‘genius’ from ‘talent.’ As much as between ‘need’ and ‘desire,’ an abyss separates them. The first is limited, the second, without any limits.
For the genius has a knowledge he ignores.
Captive of waves taken on directly by inspiration—etymologically, he who is infiltrated, but by whom, by what?—capable, by consequence, of the best and the worst, depending on whether it’s there or absent, he is daily confronted in alleys of accident, that is to say, by what comes to him: he is spoken by his language.
The talent, inversely, is a master. What he comes to create, he can reproduce. The accident is excluded. Within the limits of his knowledge or his know-how, be it a painter, an author or a musician, it will always be well-painted, well-written, well-composed: always well.