I just finished reading two books……
“Leonardo Da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson
“Furious Hours” by Casey Cep: “Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee”
I think somewhere in the Universe, I was led to read these two books back to back.
One is the biography of a genius and his masterpieces.
One is the struggles of a genius writer trying to create the perfect second masterpiece to her adoring public…….
I am struck by how these two people were alike. Genius is a strange thing; there is a fine line between genius and madness.
Leonardo, so obsessed with the perfection of every stroke, that he left so many masterpieces unfinished. So obsessed with how each corner of every room’s light fell upon the eyes of his subject, the curls of his hair, the shadow of her hand, the curl of her smile, that he walked to every corner of that room, memorizing the details of that light. And how those paintings were carried about for years, sometimes just one brush stroke change, sometimes, years of changes…….to “perfection”…….sometimes, never finished.
How he obsessed over every muscle, every artery, every facet of life by dissecting the dead.
Nelle, so obsessed with every word, every line…..pages took hours, days and then were rewritten and obsessed over…..carried about for years……..to “perfection.”
How she wanted the dead to be portrayed to perfection, for words to speak the truth, not embellished, not glossed over, but true.
One wonders how many masterpieces, how many books did not meet our eyes because in the eyes of Leonardo and Nelle they were not perfection………
I recommend both books…..
There is a fine line between genius and madness…….many of the most gifted walk upon that line…….sometimes, they cross over…..sometimes that line holds them prisoner to perfection………..
Happy Mother’s Day,