The wife of a genius is a profession, a vocation and hard work. Vera Pavlova described her duties with complete accuracy: “The muse inspires when she comes, the wife inspires when she leaves, her lover inspires when she does not come. Do you want me to do all this at the same time? ”Actually, the genius’s wife should not do anything else. The point is in simultaneity. We must be able to constantly be around and at the same time not to bother.
Talking about the wives of geniuses is complicated precisely because genius is a discord: mathematical is one thing, artistic is completely different, music is third. It is desirable for artistic natures that their wives understand and share their enthusiasm for their own cause, as well as cast out doubts to which any genius is highly exposed. Mathematics does not necessarily require a wife to delve into his subtle constructions; moreover, he is almost always certain that this is not her mind business. Physicists are not organized at all like mathematicians, and prefer to marry their graduate students or students – so that the girl at least has a little idea of what her husband does. Because mathematics is a game of the mind, and physics is a whole worldview and a mathematician can easily get along with an ordinary person, and a physicist feels best with a physicist. Composers prefer to marry performers – musicians, singers, dancers – and such unions are most durable because they are pragmatic. Something like a contract, although not without feelings. Finally, the geniuses of commerce and business, as well as major politicians, are forced to choose not so much a wife as a showcase, which does not always mean a harmonious union, but marriage is the tenth thing for such people. For their eternal expansion, rapid and often incidental satisfaction of a burdensome and persistent sexual need is needed: a flight attendant on an airplane, a waitress in a bar – this is their ideal companion.
Genius for genius
The main question for every genius is whether he should marry another genius? In other words, should a wife be equal to her husband intellectually? Experience suggests that in no case should, because genius is not only patience and work, but also psychopathology, and egocentrism, and jealousy. Living with a genius is very difficult: a woman is still capable of this, a man, by virtue of his dominance, almost never.
This does not mean that a genius should marry a fool. Ideally, he should marry a smart, subtle woman who understands, but is completely devoid of creative ability. An ideal connoisseur. Such marriages turn out to be so long-lasting: the poet Robert Rozhdestvensky spent his whole life with Alla Kireeva, Leonid Latynin with Alla Latynina, director Anatoly Efros with theater critic and theater expert Natalya Krymova. A genius is generally better to marry a historian, critic, or theater expert. That is, on the one who understands the full extent of his greatness, but does not claim to be his own. I know the case of a long and happy marriage of two talented sculptors, however, it was overshadowed by rather unpleasant incidents. For example, they are exhibited together in the Manege. My wife has some very successful works. The husband goes and on the night before the opening day re-sticks labels under them, appropriating the most successful things. To make it clear who is the boss in the house and in the pair leading. Let me remind you that Auguste Rodin in every way suppressed Camille Claudel, why she finally lost her mind – but the sculptor was wonderful, even if not of his level, but obviously of the highest class!
True, there are special cases: the wife is a technical assistant. These are cases of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, partly Salvador Dali. Wife-stenographer (not devoid of artistic taste), wife-census-taker (notorious seven times – just so many editions had the epic “War and Peace”, and as many times Sofya Andreevna rewrote it from beginning to end), wife-model (Galina Dyakonova, which Dali wrote for almost forty years). This is much more important than the ideal housewife, cook, laundress, etc.: the artist appreciates the one who helps him in his work. The same applies to a physicist who needs the help of a laboratory assistant, and a writer who loves to dictate. True, creativity is an intimate process and you will not allow everyone to go there, so the model wife and the shorthand wife are the ideal collaborator. By the way, a good model is not always a beauty. Good is the one who correctly “sits” (lies) and maintains a conversation. “Portrait of the artist’s wife” is the most widespread genre in the world of fine art (there is also the “Portrait of the artist’s mistress”, but the artist, as a rule, does not recognize this).
Some believe that a genius’s wife is obliged to create “comfort and dryness” to her husband. Alas, this is not enough. Boris Pasternak first escaped from his ownerless and scattered first wife to his second, economic and homely, but then escaped to a creature even more careless and chaotic: judging by the letters to Olga Ivinskaya, he only loved her in life and with all the self-forgetfulness of mature passion.