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Thursday, July 14, 2016


A woman makes her living peddling a certain vision of creativity in popular books, a certain ideal image of being an artist, with a lot of new age-style crap and motivational/inspirational hokum. You know what I'm talking about.

She herself is not creative, of course. Her poetry is not good, and her other books are recycled versions of one popular bestseller she wrote many years ago. She never seems to have new ideas, or to change her mind about anything. If she writes a book, she will make more money by creating a workbook that goes with it, or an appointment calendar, or audio supplement.

It is not wonder that the leading scholar of poetry devotes a book to the "uncreative." Advertisers, educators, and hucksters have buried creativity under a thick layers of muck, making it virtually unrecognizable to any genuine artist any more. Who would aspire to creativity when it has become an "any map will do" device for lazy business & educational consultants? It always ends up being a method to increase economic efficiency, somehow.


Leslie said...

You don't mean this, do you? http://juliacameronlive.com/the-artists-way/

J.C. is surely a 12 stepper but I didn't know she actually had artworks of her own. Who is the leading scholar, what is the book on the uncreative?

I am creative. Most people are not but they say they are and they produce a lot of mediocre artisanry. Creativity requires discipline and most people think it does not, and they take refuge in this anti-creative creativity that lacks discipline.


I am having an argument with an English professor who thinks algebra -- algebra! -- should not be required in school because it is not useful, whereas English is. She believes only English teaches useful skills, literature is for the heart and composition is for your job in business, other topics are not useful and also are torture for people who are dyslexic or suffer from anxiety or anything like that. I am caricaturing a little here but her arguments do come down to this. I am upset that someone this anti-intellectual is a professor.


Poetry in everyday life, someone said, and Lorca would like this: roof tiles that stick out too far are "proud," and those that stick out not enough are "shy."

Jonathan said...

Unoriginal genius, by Marjorie Perloff. The roof tiles metaphor is a good one.

Leslie said...

She has a very useful website http://marjorieperloff.com/