The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize for Literature

Doris Lessing, the well-travelled British writer, has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The really surprising thing about this is that she is still alive. Doris Lessing was elderly when I was a teenager. She is eleven days short of her eighty-eighth birthday.

Now, you may wonder why I mention this. Well, there is, as usual, a good reason. The Nobel Prizes were originally intended to be awarded early in the life of the recipients, to free them from the burden of commerce, and allow them to focus on creative work. 88 years old is not young. It is not what the prize was originally intended to be for. Now, this is not Doris Lessing's fault - it is the way the prizes are deliberated over that delays the awards for decades, in many cases. It takes a long time to come to a consensus - and this is where the problem arises.

Nobel stipulated, in his will, that the prizes were to be awarded in "the year subsequent to the work". They really were meant to be awarded swiftly.

The most frequently mentioned work of Lessing in connection with the prize has been The Golden Notebook, a feminist classic from 1962. That is a long time to wait to be recognized.

Don't misunderstand me: I wish Doris Lessing well - and her lifetime work has now been recognized by the highest of prizes - it is just that such recognition should have happened a long time ago, if at all, were Nobel's intentions respected.

Well done Doris Lessing.

The Nobel Prizes are to be awarded on December 10th, by King Carl XVI Gustaf, in Stockholm, Sweden. They are valued at $1.5 million USD.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and ten months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and three months, and Tiarnan, twenty months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:22 PM 


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