Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Analytical Creativity

There have been a lot of articles talking about the late Harold Pinter's politics, resulting in one writer asking why it is that so many artists seem to have crazy politics. Marrin in fact goes a long way to explaining it in her observation that there seems to be a separation between the analytical and creative minds. What she doesn't ask is if this is a necessary condition, or only a recent phenomenon. I'm of the opinion that it's a recent phenomenon, born of the Modern Era, after the Renaissance. There are many who fused the two, such as Voltaire and Goethe, but certainly in the case of Goethe, it seemed to be a reaction to the separation of the two in so many other artists (such as the Romantics). But we only have to look to the Renaissance to see that being analtyical and being creative are not necessarily separate. Indeed, in her book Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language, Sister Mirium Joseph makes the case that Shakespeare was deeply analytical, making use of logic throughout his works. Frederick Turner, another who fuses being analytical and creative, also makes the case in Shakespeare's Twenty-First Century Economics that Shakespeare also had a very sensible understanding of economics -- certainly a far more sensible understanding than did such literary greats as Sartre, Steinbeck, or Shaw. But one of the aspects of modernism is specialization, and artists and analytical people separated themselves from each other.

Perhaps this is an indication that we need a new combination of analytics and creativity. Perhaps we could have a manifesto for "Analytical Creativity." Shouldn't our art be sensible? If, as Harold Bloom and Minette Marrin suggest, art is the source of wisdom, how can it be that the artists themselves are unwise and so full of nonsense? If that doesn't make any sense, it's because wise nonsense is itself nonsensical. If people wonder why it is we haven't had a Shakespeare since Shakespeare, it's precisely because artists after him abandoned half their minds. It's time we had artists who used their entire minds to create the most beautiful works of art.
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