Monday, 7 July 2014

Five Statements about Creativity

Mozart knew a thing or two about creativity. (Wikimedia Commons)
  • "[C]reativeness is the lucky readiness to feel, to sense, to see an opportunity--to discover and to invent." Josef Albers, quoted in Black Mountain by Martin Duberman.
  • "For when you come to think of it, the only way to love a person is not, as the stereotyped Christian notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet, in them." Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write.

  • "When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer--say traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come I know not; nor can I force them. Those ideas that please me, I retain in memory and am accustomed, as I have been told, to hum them to myself. If I continue in this way it occurs to me how I may turn this or that morsel to account so as to make a good dish of it, that is to say, agreeable to the rules of counterpoint, to the peculiarities of the various instruments." Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, quoted in Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write.

  • "First thoughts have tremendous energy. It is the way the mind first flashes on something. The internal censor usually squelches them, so we live in the realm of second and third thoughts, thoughts on thought, twice and three times removed from the direct connection of the first fresh flash." Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones.
  • "Fundamental to any art form is the image, whether it be the physical image as created by the dancer and choreographer, the musical image of the composer and musician, the visual image of the plastic artist of the verbal image, often metaphorical, of the writer and poet....While, however, it may be quite easy to see the role of image as it relates to the visual artist, it may be less easy to do so with respect to the writer. The word 'image' is being used here to convey what can only be described as the irreducible essence--the i-mage--of creative writing; it can be likened to the DNA molecules at the heart of all life. The process of giving tangible form to this i-mage may be called i-maging, or the i-magination. Use of unconventional orthography, 'i-mage' in this instance, does not only represent the increasingly conventional deconstruction of certain words, but draws on the Rastafarian practice of privileging the 'I' in many words.'I-mage' rather than 'image' is, in fact, a closer approximation of the concept under discussion....In her attempt to translate the i-mage into meaning and non-meaning, the writer has access to a variety of verbal techniques and methods--comparison, simile, metaphor, metonymy, symbol, rhyme, allegory, fable, myth--all of which aid her in this process. Whatever the name given to the technique or form, the function remains the same---that of enabling the artist to translate the i-mage into meaningful language for her audience." M. NourbeSe Philip, "The Absence of Writing or How I Almost Became a Spy."

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