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Journal ArticleDOI

Aesthetic Creativity: Insights from classical literary theory on creative learning

Tomas Hellström1
01 Jun 2011-Educational Philosophy and Theory (Wiley-Blackwell)-Vol. 43, Iss: 4, pp 321-335
TL;DR: The authors identify the processes of narrative imagination and emotional identification as central to the role that the textual dimension plays in the creative process of the author/reader, particularly in the way it provides a space for experimentation and self-reflexion through "storying".
Abstract: This paper addresses the subject of textual creativity by drawing on work done in classical literary theory and criticism, specifically new criticism, structuralism and early poststructuralism. The question of how readers and writers engage creatively with the text is closely related to educational concerns, though they are often thought of as separate disciplines. Modern literary theory in many ways collapses this distinction in its concern for how literariness is achieved and, specifically, how ‘literary quality’ is accomplished in the textual and the social dimension. Taking literary and aesthetic creativity as a point of departure in the reading of five central authors in classical literary criticism, the paper identifies the processes of narrative imagination and emotional identification as central to the role that the textual dimension plays in the creative process of the author/reader—particularly in the way it provides a space for experimentation and self‐reflexion through ‘storying’.
Citations
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Book ChapterDOI
10 Apr 2015

254 citations

Book Chapter
01 Jan 2011

153 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Smith and Osborn as discussed by the authors used interpretative Phenomenological analysis to identify six superordinate themes: 1) the process of creating as a goal-oriented focus, 2) internalising process and product, 3) awareness shift and self-focus, 4) emotion regulation, 5) goal change, bonding, and conflict resolution, and 6) feelings and perceptions withinthe art-making process.
Abstract: Most creativity theorists consider artists as “agents of control”, capable of overcoming and controllingpsychological distress. However, studies have yet to map the “healing” tendency for “everyday creative people”in detailing the process’ effects on perception and change. This study was aimed to examine this process via aphenomenological and Perceptual Control Theory perspective (PCT: see Powers, W. T. (1973). Behaviour: Thecontrol of perception. Chicago: Aldine). We recruited and interviewed eleven participants who had engaged inart-making and experienced recovery from psychological distress. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis wasused to identify themes between participant responses, generated from self-created semi-structured interviewschedules following Smith and Osborn’s technique (IPA: see Smith, J. A., & Osborn, M. (2008). Interpretativephenomenological analysis. In J. A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods,2nd edition, (53-80). London: Sage). Data analysis identified six superordinate themes: 1) “the process of creatingas a goal-oriented focus”, 2) “internalising process and product”, 3) “awareness shift and self-focus”, 4)“emotion regulation”, 5) “goal change, bonding, and conflict resolution”, and 6) “feelings and perceptions withinthe art-making process”. Disconfirming Case Analysis and participant feedback also indicated a seventh theme: 7)“the ‘superficial’ creative process”. The results were interpreted to indicate that art-making involves thepurposeful creation of perceptual experience to fulfil higher-order goals and values. The creative process is alsoa learning process which instigates and promotes positive affect, enhances skills, and facilitates change inhigher-order goals. We consider these interpretations in the light of the components of PCT.

16 citations


Cites background from "Aesthetic Creativity: Insights from..."

  • ...Fourth, it is suggested that sudden insights emerge from the ability to freely express (Bournelli, Makri, & Mylonas, 2009; Doyle, 1998; Fraser, 2006; Hellström, 2011)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that imagination plays a crucial role in the creation of pivotal educational features and phenomena, such as knowledge, inquiry, choice and deliberation, critical agency, meaning creation, and, importantly, the openness of possibilities.
Abstract: In recent decades, the shift towards the “learnification” of educational discourse has de facto reframed educational purposes and schooling practice, thus reframing what students should know, strive for, and, in a sense, be. In this paper, given the efforts to disrupt the dominance of learning discourse, I seek to engage regarding a specific concern, namely, the progressive removal of imagination within educational official framework. Indeed, imagination has virtually disappeared from the documents, publications, web pages and recommendations of major educational agencies and institutions worldwide, with important and potentially damaging consequences for schooling, teaching and learning. Employing a Deweyan perspective, I argue that imagination plays a crucial role in the creation of pivotal educational features and phenomena, such as knowledge, inquiry, choice and deliberation, critical agency, meaning creation, and, importantly, the openness of possibilities. Therefore, the eclipse of imagination becomes, at the very same time, the eclipse of education; nurturing imagination is about nurturing education.

5 citations

DissertationDOI
17 Jan 2014

3 citations

References
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Book
17 Apr 2002
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the uses of the story, the legal and the literary, and the creation of self in the form of a story, and so why narrative.
Abstract: Preface 1. The Uses of the Story 2. The Legal and the Literary 3. The Narrative Creation of Self 4. So Why Narrative? Notes Index

1,180 citations


"Aesthetic Creativity: Insights from..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Jerome Bruner (1979, p. 72) touched upon one essential aspect of this process in his reference to ‘the shock of recognition’, that is, the way in which a text may tell us something we implicitly already knew, but in a new, unexpected way. I will elaborate on the foundations for this process and synthesize some of its key elements by introducing the concepts of narrative imagination and emotional identification. Because of the duality of the text in terms of creativity, where a writer writes and a reader reads, as well as the assumption that literary qualities are constructed somewhere within this continuum, I have chosen to present the analysis of this paper under the heading of writing and reading respectively. Furthermore, these sections draw on three critics/theorists, which I believe to be representative of their respective traditions: the new critic Cleanth Brooks (1947, 1951), structuralist Jonathan Culler (1975) and the poststructuralist Paul de Man (1979)....

    [...]

  • ...Jerome Bruner (1979, p. 72) touched upon one essential aspect of this process in his reference to ‘the shock of recognition’, that is, the way in which a text may tell us something we implicitly already knew, but in a new, unexpected way. I will elaborate on the foundations for this process and synthesize some of its key elements by introducing the concepts of narrative imagination and emotional identification. Because of the duality of the text in terms of creativity, where a writer writes and a reader reads, as well as the assumption that literary qualities are constructed somewhere within this continuum, I have chosen to present the analysis of this paper under the heading of writing and reading respectively. Furthermore, these sections draw on three critics/theorists, which I believe to be representative of their respective traditions: the new critic Cleanth Brooks (1947, 1951), structuralist Jonathan Culler (1975) and the poststructuralist Paul de Man (1979). These critics, even though they produced most of their work between the 1950s and 1970s nevertheless represent the theoretical sentiments of their respective schools....

    [...]

  • ...Jerome Bruner (2002) in some aspects captured the way that we have seen fiction and reality, subject and object, blend in narrative imagination: ‘through narrative, we construct, reconstruct and in some ways reinvent yesterday and tomorrow....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Nussbaum as mentioned in this paper investigates and defends a conception of ethical understanding which involves emotional as well as intellectual activity, and which gives a certain type of priority to the perception of particular people and situations rather than to abstract rule.
Abstract: This volume brings together Martha Nussbaum's published papers, some revised for this collection, on the relationship between literature and philosophy, especially moral philosophy. It also includes two new essays and a substantial Introduction. The papers, many of them previously not readily available to non-specialist readers, explore such fundamental issues as the relationship between style and content in the exploration of ethical questions; the nature of ethical attention and ethical knowledge and their relationship to written forms and style; and the role of the emotions in deliberation and self-knowledge. The author investigates and defends a conception of ethical understanding which involves emotional as well as intellectual activity, and which gives a certain type of priority to the perception of particular people and situations rather than to abstract rule.

961 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

903 citations


"Aesthetic Creativity: Insights from..." refers background in this paper

  • ...These authors, originator of Reader-Response Theory Louise Rosenblatt (1938/1996), and political and literary philosopher Martha Nussbaum (1992), with some distinct differences and with some important commonalities, address the creative function in literature from the point of view of bridging the writer-reader dualism, and in its place seek to establish an emotional and experiential unity....

    [...]

  • ...These authors, originator of Reader-Response Theory Louise Rosenblatt (1938/1996), and political and literary philosopher Martha Nussbaum (1992), with some distinct differences and with some important commonalities, address the creative function in literature from the point of view of bridging the…...

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1975
TL;DR: Structuralist Poetics as mentioned in this paper is a work of technical skill as well as outstanding literary merit, which won the 1975 James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
Abstract: A work of technical skill as well as outstanding literary merit, Structuralist Poetics was awarded the 1975 James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. It was during the writing of this book that Culler developed his now famous and remarkably complex theory of poetics and narrative, and while never a populariser he nonetheless makes it crystal clear within these pages.

659 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Structuralist Poetics as discussed by the authors is a work of technical skill as well as outstanding literary merit, which won the 1975 James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
Abstract: A work of technical skill as well as outstanding literary merit, Structuralist Poetics was awarded the 1975 James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. It was during the writing of this book that Culler developed his now famous and remarkably complex theory of poetics and narrative, and while never a populariser he nonetheless makes it crystal clear within these pages.

649 citations


"Aesthetic Creativity: Insights from..." refers background in this paper

  • ...the text, the structuralist critic Jonathan Culler (1975) specifically addressed the context, or the social conventions, which makes this something a valuable contribution....

    [...]

  • ...In fact, in line with the new critics as well as in opposition to them, Culler suggests that the achievement of a certain textual arrangement, a fragmentation of the text and a dislocation of its form of expression, generates a challenge in the reader to question the self, pushing identity boundaries in new directions and thereby expanding and deconstructing convention along with identity. However, this transformation is very much dependent on the influence of conventions already present. To finalize the section on writing, I would like to take up a few points brought out by Paul de Man, a theorist who is usually located in the poststructuralist tradition of literary criticism (1979). As we have seen in the above, the creative function of the author seems to revolve around a tension between an inward and an outward focus....

    [...]

  • ...Furthermore, these sections draw on three critics/theorists, which I believe to be representative of their respective traditions: the new critic Cleanth Brooks (1947, 1951), structuralist Jonathan Culler (1975) and the poststructuralist Paul de Man (1979)....

    [...]

  • ...After that I will trace the function of authorial creativity via Jonathan Culler’s structuralism and reader-oriented semiotics, and finally take up some of the observations on this issue made by Paul de Man—here taken to represent postmodernism in one of its earlier Anglo-American incarnations. Focusing on the literary expression—or the product of writing—the new critics touched on at least three areas of concern for understanding the creative act. The first of these is the way in which the author works with internal integration and economizing of the literary expression in terms of a close and balanced amalgamation of its component parts, in order to achieve an aesthetic effect. The second follows from the first, and is the way in which a literary work becomes uniquely able to express ‘its point’—that is, it becomes impossible to paraphrase in an exhaustive way, and thus governs its own inimitable expression. These two functions would typically lead to a third, namely a focused emotional/aesthetic experience in the reader and particularly a homogenization of this experience. This last effect we may locate in the act of reading, and it will be taken up in the next section. In the first instance the authorial challenge is one of presenting and exploring disparate or seemingly contradictory aspects of a phenomenon which are gradually shown to hang together according to a theme. In effect something deeply true about the phenomenon that theme refers to is brought out. Ambiguity of interpretation is of great import during this explorative process, yet it must be balanced so as not to diminish the effect of ‘pulling’ towards a thematic centre where the truth of the subject of a text can be seen. This process of exploration as Cleanth Brooks (1947) describes it, is in every way a convergent process of drilling in one place, by means of a divergent set of images and signs....

    [...]

  • ...While the new critics would have emphasized the channel through which something is communicated, i.e. the text, the structuralist critic Jonathan Culler (1975) specifically addressed the context, or the social conventions, which makes this something a valuable contribution....

    [...]