25 August 2007

Polymaths

I tend to agree with Heinlein when he said "Specialization is for insects," and I think I even mentioned that concept already.

So, I was delighted to learn a little more about the diverse skills and accomplishments of a true polymath whose work I have admired for years. I'm talking, of course, about the remarkable John Lithgow. I still remember seeing him receive an Emmy for his work on Third Rock From The Sun - with great joy and enthusiasm, he noted that he would never be taken seriously as a dramatic actor ever again, a fact which did not seem to disturb him in the slightest. I recently found out he actually has four Emmy's, two Tony's, etc, etc. And in addition to movies, plays and television, he's also a musician and a writer. His books for children are fantastic - I'm particularly fond of The Remarkable Farkle McBride. He's got a new book of poetry coming out soon. Wow!

Check out the Q&A on Lithgow's website.

I'd put Mr. Lithgow right up there with the multi-talented Will Smith, who does comedy, drama and action, television and movies, music... and for all I know has written a book or two...

And of course, my admiration for these men is in line with my admiration for a couple of other, much older polymaths - G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis. While their accomplishments were primarily literary, Chesterton was actually a fantastic artist in addition to a writer, and both wrote in a bewilderingly diverse range of genres, from theology to children's stories, fiction and mysteries and travellogues and academic tomes.

Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I want to do.

2 comments:

Kim said...

Dan, Dan, the Renaissance Man. :)

Deb said...

I'm pretty fond of The Remarkable Farkle McBride as well!! :) We have it in our children's library! :)