Orson Welles: not a self-destructive failure

From Dennis Lim’s discussion of the new film “Me and Orson Welles” in the New York Times:

“In grappling with an artist who revolutionized every medium he worked in but spent his final decades as a Hollywood outcast and a pop-culture punch line, Welles’s biographers … differ on whether he was a radical genius who fell victim to a callous and conservative system or a self-destructive failure who squandered his abundant gifts.”

A more persuasive viewpoint is to see that Welles was a typical conceptual innovator, achieving his greatest work at a young age, then declining in accomplishments through the rest of his life.

For more on that insight into Welles, see David Galenson’s article “Age and Creativity” (PDF, 2006) in the Milken Institute Review.


4 Responses to Orson Welles: not a self-destructive failure

  1. Inhenaine says:

    True words, some true words man. You rocked my day.

  2. Steve Hill says:

    Most of the time revolutionaries are never appreciated until it’s too late. I think Orson Welles falls into that category.

  3. musoland1 says:

    Outstanding people discovered their special talent and then exploited it as I found and the book Amazing Women has just been published on Amazon and also Amazing Americans.

  4. Jon says:

    Bookmarking this blog for future reference. I loved Galenson’s Old Masters and Young Geniuses.

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