In the age of the Romantic Movement it was called genius, nowadays it’s called talent. At first glance one should think that talent is something inferior to genius, but according to Federspiel, talent is even more snotty and mendacious than genius, because, as the meaning and etymology of the words indicate, genius lies with God, while talent lies with a person.
“It is sad that we have attempted to secularize the very thing that makes a person choose to devote his life to writing. Thus, we have not acheived much by shutting God out of all so-called modern concepts, we have messed things up, considering the large-scale expectation of modernity and secularization. In fact, I think our overview of who God is is bigger than our overview of what a person is. The consequence is that we become confused and highly annoyed when we hear that a person lives with or tries to live with his great talent. It is pure self-chosen concentration camp and puritanism and self-importance. Consequently, the people in Denmark’s two literary cartels consist of some very concentrated, subdued and well-behaved people. This concentrated, pretty subduedness is thus not a fashion trend in the authors’ self-representation and self-perception. It is something deeper than a mutual agreement made between the Zeitgeist and the writer group.”
Now The Other Newspaper‘s employee opens the door and the author enters. Remarkably, the writer is wearing a mobile cage that has holes for the legs.
“Just as I said. Oh, this is so funny!”
The author walks around himself and overturns. Federspiel laughs out loud. Now Federspiel lays a small book by Platon on the floor in front of the author. Federspiel leads his finger to his mouth and shushes. The author also notices the book, stares attentively at it and recites with a dark and serious voice:
“Shh. I am shining on the book.”
Federspiel almost falls down the chair laughing.
“Hahaha. Do you hear? The author fancies having an dispute with Plato man-to-man. Wait a minute. Now comes the attitude. The funniest part…”
“My attitude towards Platon is…”
“…that I so to speak haven’t read him yet. He is, so to speak, not incorporated into who I am!”
Listen to yourself, man! Why are you so pompous and self-important? Don’t you think you should concentrate a little on life?
Despite eager resistance from the author, Federspiel unlocks the cage and the author runs away as fast as his legs can carry him.