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Zola: Talent Can Only Get the Artist So Far

What makes a great artist? According to French writer Émile Zola, it's talent coupled with tenacity.

Zola: Talent Can Only Get the Artist So Far

Émile Zola (1840-1902) was a French writer and the most well-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism. Before his breakthrough as a writer, Zola worked as a clerk in a shipping firm and then in the sales department for the publisher Hachette. He also wrote literary and art reviews for newspapers. More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart, for which Zola had thought of the complete layout from the age of 28. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.


Below, Zola briefly lays out the prerequisites for exceptional artistry:

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."

We always like to include a Big Think video clip in these points as an application of the historical figure's words. Big Think has a wealth of videos about the artistic process, but the following clip featuring acclaimed choreographer Elizabeth Streb seemed to work best. In it, she dissects the work put in by students at her Streb Lab for Action Mechanics to push the limits of dance as an art form:

Radical innovation: Unlocking the future of human invention

Ready to see the future? Nanotronics CEO Matthew Putman talks innovation and the solutions that are right under our noses.

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Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
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Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Coronavirus
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
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    Therapy app Talkspace mined user data for marketing insights, former employees allege

    A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.

    Talkspace.com
    Technology & Innovation
    • In the report, several former employees said that "individual users' anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights."
    • Talkspace denied using user data for marketing purposes, though it acknowledged that it looks at client transcripts to improve its services.
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    Mind & Brain

    Viewing abstract art causes notable cognitive changes

    Viewing art that doesn't look like anything makes your brain take extra steps to try and get it.

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