At William James Sidis nobody remembers, and nothing is more like it. The aim is to be as of the nineteen years older Albert Einstein have been higher his intelligence quotient. As a celebrated eight year old child prodigy, he had already published four books, concerned with science, psychology and the history of Native Americans. But after his death (in 1944, only 46 years old), he was quickly forgotten.
The author Klaus Caesar Zehrer has now rediscovered the gifted and tells his fate in his debut novel “The Genius”.
He designed a dismal bottom line life story in three parts. The first recounts the career of his father Boris Sidis, the second as educates his son William, and the third, as the disappointed by the Company brilliant son with iron consistency in a self-sought isolation retreats.
Boris Sidis is a headstrong man. Born into a wealthy Jewish family in Russia in 1867, he denounced early “the baseness of those in power” in the Russian Empire and must serve for two years in solitary confinement.
In 1886 he emigrated to America, but to indulge without the dream of getting rich easy. On the contrary, equal in Manhattan, he gets rid of all his belongings and is happy about a “ideal state, the paradise of presuppositions of a newborn.” Money is it essential for independent living.
Relentless he follows nothing, education, however this maxim. With simple works, he makes his way and injects the collective knowledge of a public library. He studied philosophy doctorate at Harvard University and collects awards for his scientific achievements.
But because he did all the social conventions resists and turns his critical views no secret, it remains in the circle of scholars isolated.
For friendship, empathy, love ( “Be What’s that?”) And intimacies has Boris Sidis no vein. Nevertheless, he married 1894 Sarah Mandelbaum, who has fallen in love with the attractive scientist. Arrogant he refuses to obey “stale rituals” as to ask the parents of the lady for her hand, but what he’s up to, the “only goes with it”: the methodical education of an infant genius
Sarah, the child’s mother felt hat., is just strange at first ( “He can not yet let’s see sharp.”). After she completed her medical studies, she stands fully behind the scientific experiment, should succeed and be recognized, the entire human race can open up a better future. Lauter intelligent, independent-minded, free, so happy individuals …
In fact, as planned William a genius. With two years he reads the New York Times, with four he knows Caesar’s “De Bello Gallico” by heart. The school can not offer anything to him, he only creates unrest, skips gradually all classes and after graduation are all glad that “know-it-chat Mouth” finally to be rid of. The age of ten, he gives a lecture before Harvard professors about his theory of the fourth dimension. The age of eleven, he may enroll as a regular student. The twelve year old cheer the newspapers as “the greatest mathematicians of all time.” If the experiment so successful? Be
Mag. But the look that we opened the author into the inner workings of the test object, reveals great emotional and social deficits. The reasons were undecided. Are they a result of freezing trim to mental peak performance, neglecting all other skills? They are genetically predisposed? Was the socialization inadequate? Has the model of empathy-less father let the boy be empathielos? What child could be happy if they are all adults know vastly superior when his father in a pamphlet reviles his “feeble-minded teachers” in public? Who could appreciate friendship when he isolates himself as the youngest of the class of the dumpfbackigen comrades themselves, on the other hand teased because he his shoes can even bind themselves not clogged and the pay phone with dollar bills? Who would not seek retreats for his psyche with so many frustrations? Moments secure happiness feels this boy – and that all his life -. If he trundles on the tram through the city
When William Sidis reached the zenith of his scientific career, his painful social Abwendungs- and private Abkapselungsprozess begins , Even the four-year-olds is the handling of the older students, always careful to leisure and distraction, an abomination. He pulls into a rented private rooms, you written a life plan with 154 paragraphs and the vow itself imposes never to marry and to bring children into the world. The older he gets, the more his aversion to sexuality, against the media circus around his person, against the collection of his research for military purposes. Like his father, he scandalizes everywhere by surly arrogance and bad behavior and even peeved his last conveyor. The universities have the door to the obstructionist unless he defiantly announces itself. Even with the parents he submits. In the end he is content with simplicity and loneliness and works as a tram conductor.
Klaus Caesar Zehrer novel is a complex narrative work. The focus of interest is the character image of its ambivalent eccentric protagonists: a Freidenker and reformer confident Pazifist, COs, and Bolshevik Utopist. Whose curriculum vitae with the radical change from the acclaimed genius to bankrupt Nerd is the central plotline. It is embedded in a comprehensive panopticon of the American zeitgeist and its change: entry into the war (1917), influenza epidemic (1918 to 1920), the changes in the working world and the cities, Great Depression, unemployment and poverty
. to portray father and son genius genius properly, it requires probably one author-genius. Zehrer has researched in detail and impressive invested a great deal of knowledge and wit. The book teems with quotations, foreign language snippets, infinite details and Episödchen about the unknown and exceptional individuals of the Sidis family. The abundance fascinates, entertains and forms, but also calls. A book that makes you think about many issues that affect us today, such as the ability to plan human happiness.