William James Sidis – new thread prompted by Pirsig / Lila
Sidis – the original April Fool ?
William James Sidis could speak five languages and read Plato in original Greek by the age of five [ps perhaps he was Greek – more western/US/English-speaking arrogance – aside]. At eight he passed the entrance for Harvard but had to wait three years to be admitted. Even so he became Harvard?s youngest scholar and graduate in 1914 at the age of sixteen. Frequently featured in ?Ripley?s Believe it or Not?, Sidis made the front page of ?The New York Times? nineteen times. The story defies all conventional norms and may even sound like a joke if you found out that Sidis was born on April 1, 1898.
Main interest apart from Sidis own contribution to Anthropology / Enthnography, is the attitude of the world to Sidis. April Fool / Burnt-out Genius or Boy Wonder ?
[Post Note : See also Sidis and Buckie-Fuller links in the Pirsig Pages – via side bar.]