Last Sunday I attended a lecture by Margaret Boden. She spoke with great warmth, knowledge and clarity. Good communicators are rare even among eminent scholars and one can almost be forgiven for forgetting that academia is about disseminating knowledge, not just ego-edifices. Her talk was very similar to this one she gave in Oxford a couple of years ago. She considers creativity common to all humans, and divides it into two broad categories: individual (psychological) and historical, the former being an idea that is new to the person, and the latter an idea that is new in the history of humanity. These are further subdivided into: combinational creativity, explorational creativity, and transformational creativity – very useful categories for talking and thinking about a rather vague topic, in my opinion, especially if (like me) you worry about how worthwhile your artistic work is.
For the past few months I’ve been nibbling my way through Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology, too. Mine is a battered, chewed-up, dogged library copy, one of those books through whose cracked spines you can see the light. For Campbell (if I understand aright), mythology is an interface between the individual and society, and one he considers artists as particularly adept at manipulating. I love Campbell’s (& mythology’s) connectivity; a Derridaean, “yes!”
The weather has been cold, but still the trees are jousting in the wind, with branches of pink and white flowers. It is too early for any roses, of course, except those of supermarket discounts. At university, I knew a boy who went skipping, and he would bring me perfect bunches of roses and daffodils in beer bottles. Now that is a monthly box to which I would subscribe! Especially if it came with cards bearing notes from Victorian realists.
Other things this week include: pistachio marzipan; secret tipples with strangers; discovering a misspelt note on the back of a birthday cake plaque (cake archeology!); my first #10kday in a while; reaching 10K reads on The Female Correspondent (+ so many sweet comments)!; serial sniffers in the library; some scenes I have long longed to write; fascination with naval strategy (nothing new there); & oh how I want my life to be like this waltz…
“I accept life unconditionally. Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don’t set any condition.” – Artur Rubinstein
Sunlight sidling and slipping along a page.
P.S. I am tilting at internet impersonality by posting weekly diary entries. I also send out spontaneous private letterlings by email.