Posts Tagged: creativity

Word of the Day: Mundificative

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(n.); a cleansing medicine or preparation; (adj.) able to cleanse, especially a wound

“Art begins in a wound, an imperfection—a wound inherent in the nature of life itself—and is an attempt either to live with the wound or to heal it.”

–John Gardner, Grendel

The idea of creative expression as a healing experience has been tossed around in both artistic and non-artistic communities for as long as most of us can remember, if not longer; there have even been scientific studies to support the cleansing quality of artistic output.

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The Rumpus Interview with Bud Smith

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Novelist Bud Smith talks about his new book, F-250, working construction and metalworking, finding writing after his friend’s death, and crashing his car over and over again. ...more

Creativity and Mental Illness

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Though I did not know it then, Adeline was not just a work of fiction, or an act of literary ventriloquism. It was my suicide note. Had I succeeded in taking my life, this would have been clear.

At Lit Hub, Norah Vincent writes about the intensity of creating her Virginia Woolf novel Adeline, the link between creativity and mental illness, and how this led her to attempt taking her own life.

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The Rumpus Interview with Richard Ford

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Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Richard Ford discusses his new book, Let Me Be Frank With You, how metaphor shapes our world, and why he doesn't like the idea he has a battery to recharge. ...more

Word of the Day: Woofits

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(n.); an unwell feeling, particularly in the head; a moody depression; c. 1918, from Nevil Shute’s The Rose and the Rainbow

The archetype of the mad genius dates back to at least classical times, when Aristotle noted, “Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.”

“Secrets of the Creative Brain,” Nancy C.

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The Science of Creativity

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For the Atlantic, Cody C. Delistrarty ponders whether a person can learn to be creative, or if he or she is simply born with the trait. Framing his essay on Mary Shelley and her writing process for Frankenstein, Delistrarty presents several prevailing theories, among them that an “openness to experience” is often crucial for an artist’s work.

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Racists Are Less Creative

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Comparing cognitive tests like the Duncker Candle Problem against views of racial essentialism reveals that racists lack certain problem solving skills, reports Hazlitt:

Creativity is fundamentally the ability to recombine old ideas, moving beyond preexisting categories in order to create things that are genuinely novel.

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Creativity Uninhibited in the Dark

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“Great artists and original thinkers often seem instinctually drawn to the darker hours,” writes Eric Jaffe in his article “Why Creativity Thrives in the Dark.” A recent study conducted by Anna Steidel and Lioba Werth shows that there’s a reason for this trend: “when the lights switch off, something in the brain switches on.”

The idea is that dark places suggest an uninhibited freedom that loosens our thoughts, and that bright places suggest a compliance that restrains them.

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Depressed Creativity? Sort Of.

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When Martin Heidegger wrote his gargantuan Magnus opus, Being and Time, he posited that it was Angst, the fundamental human condition, that brought us into the most authentic relationship with our selves and our surroundings.

Angst, for Heidegger, is caused by coming face-to-face with the inevitability of our own death and is life in the state of agitation, unease—it’s the condition in which we realize just how strange the world is.

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The Cost of a Thing

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A couple months ago, we wrote about Matthew Crawford’s book Shop Class as Soulcraft, and around the same time I read another interesting review of the book, by Caleb Crain. (I refrained from posting about it at the time to avoid Crain-overkill.) In it, he describes the growth of wages, and consequently, leisure during the industrial revolution, and then goes on to produce an amazing quote from Thoreau about money:

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This Suit Gets It

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“We think that lasting relationships matter, and we share some basic beliefs: Talent is rare. Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur. It must be safe to tell the truth. We must constantly challenge all of our assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy our culture.

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How Matt Mullenweg Works

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The founding developer of WordPress — the open-source blogging software that The Rumpus runs on, as well as millions of other great sites (including the New York Times!) — was recently featured in Inc. magazine’s monthly column, “The Way I Work.”

Because of the magazine’s rules about the column — they’re authored in the first person but subjects don’t write them directly, and they aren’t allowed to vet them before publication — Mullenweg found his a little misleading and vague on points he wanted to be specific about.

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