MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

How Do They Do It?

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Charles Dickens, by a Boston Daily Advertiser cartoonist (March 1868) Charles Dickens, by a Boston Daily Advertiser cartoonist (March 1868)

So is genius really “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration,” as Thomas Edison declared (his variation on the “there are no accidents” meme, you might say)?

Mason Currey’s new book, Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work, looks at the varied routines some of the great artists and thinkers have devised to make the most of their moments with the Muses.

Reviewer Christopher Hart points out that the book offers fascinating examples of the many ways creative types “discover for themselves Flaubert’s famous advice that one should live like a bourgeois and put one’s bohemianism into one’s work.”

Thomas Mann evidently loved his kip, rising at 8am, enjoying a good hour’s nap in the afternoon and going to bed around midnight, in a separate bedroom from his wife. Richard Strauss appears to have slept a…

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