To be amused by what you read—that is the great spring of happy quotations.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Death was standing behind a lectern, poring over a map. He looked at Mort as if he wasn’t entirely there. Yᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴠᴇɴ'ᴛ ʜᴇᴀʀᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Bᴀʏ Oғ Mᴀɴᴛᴇ, ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜ? he said. “No, sir,” said Mort. Fᴀᴍᴏᴜs sʜɪᴘᴡʀᴇᴄᴋ ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ. “Was there?” Tʜᴇʀᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ, said Death, ɪғ I ᴄᴀɴ ғɪɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴀᴍɴ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ.
The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.