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Genius and the MindStudies of Creativity and Temperament$
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Andrew Steptoe

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523734

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523734.001.0001

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Mozart: resilience under stress

Mozart: resilience under stress

(p.140) (p.141) Chapter 7 Mozart: resilience under stress
Genius and the Mind

Andrew Steptoe

Oxford University Press

The chapter analyses the life and achievements of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and reveals his career transition from child prodigy to mature adult artist. The purpose in this chapter is to outline the ways in which an understanding of psychological and social research can illuminate and deepen an appreciation of Mozart's life and achievements. This chapter begins by discussing the composers early life, and the manner in which he epitomizes many of the problems of the nature-nurture debate. His transition from child prodigy to mature adult artist illustrates the pressures that typically confront juvenile successes in other fields. Even though Mozart enjoyed periods of great popularity as an adult, at the same time he experienced many difficulties, frustrations, and sorrows. His capacity to transcend these problems is a tribute to exceptional resilience. The chapter also exemplifies research on life stress and health that draws a convenient distinction between acute life events and long-term stressors.

Keywords:   Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, child prodigy, mature adult, career transition, acute life events, long-term stressors, exceptional resilience

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