I have this doubt from last year. This doubt arose in me after an academic incident.
During last year, I presented my progress before a panel of four experts and it went almost well. The only issue happened when I kept a slide of "what I will do next?". In that slide, I kept the name of a proof that I want to read. I got opinions and warnings that were shocking to me at that time. The opinions and warnings exhibited by those experts in the panel are as follows:
It is impossible for you to do that in the next academic year.
None of us even think about that since it is beyond our scope currently.
You are overambitious.
Only dozens or at most hundreds of people, on earth, have understood it till now.
The world of exalted mathematicians is entirely different. Don't even try for it. It may lead to mental issues.
Some aspirants I know became mentally ill after attempting such projects.
Although some are harsh opinions, I got them. The last two are shocking or a revelation for me. Till that time, I was confident enough that I will do. But I am slowly realizing that the opinions may be true.
My question is slightly tangential to the incident I faced. I am thinking about the topmost professors who make such proofs or write great textbooks encompassing the overall literature.
You can consider any domain of interest for answering this question. But the domain has to be locally saturated. I think it happens mostly with math.
Since I am a beginner or in my early twenties, I may have much to read in my domain. I want to know about the (contemporary) highest people and their world in that domain, especially in the reading aspect. Suppose I spent ten years on it and completed all the available textbooks and the significant papers till that time. Should I need to read anything further in that domain except the occasional seminal research papers by peers?
Should there be anything in a (say locally saturated) domain for a topmost professor to read?
Note that I am not considering the option of changing the domain for this question.