Tag Archives: People

Creativity a Byproduct of Mental Disorder?

“intelligence doesn’t have much effect on creativity: most creative people are pretty smart, but they don’t have to be that smart […] But if high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then what does? […]

What differences in nature and nurture can explain why some people suffer from mental illness and some do not? And why are so many of the world’s most creative minds among the most afflicted? […]

As research methodology improved over time, the idea that genius might be hereditary gained support. […]

For many of my subjects from that first study—all writers associated with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop—mental illness and creativity went hand in hand. This link is not surprising. 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. […]

Among those who ended up losing their battles with mental illness through suicide are Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, John Berryman, Hart Crane, Mark Rothko, Diane Arbus, Anne Sexton, and Arshile Gorky. […]

The creative […] and their relatives have a higher rate of mental illness than the controls and their relatives do. […] 

Why does creativity run in families? What is it that gets transmitted? How much is due to nature and how much to nurture? Are writers especially prone to mood disorders because writing is an inherently lonely and introspective activity? What would I find if I studied a group of scientists instead?”

And the answer is: theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/secrets-of-the-creative-brain/372299/

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Writers as Activists

“If […] creative writers, researchers, playwrights, artists and film-makers care more for how the posterity is going to judge their work and their times, then they should not care for publishers of the Establishments, funding agencies, interviews to corporate media, acceptance by ‘refereed journals’ and the so-called international awards, but should consciously orientate their work for directing the struggle to face its due target and for giving confidence and optimism to the masses”…

From:  tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=37252

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Books bring more happiness than money

“A new study by the UK’s Department for Culture Media and Sport shows that people can be just as happy going to the library as getting a £1,359 ($2,282) pay rise. The study, which examined the way in which our cultural engagement can affect overall wellbeing, found that frequent trips to the library gave us a similar feeling of wellbeing to things like the prospect of a pay rise, dancing, swimming and going to theater shows.

It’s unclear whether happy people go to the library or whether the library actually makes people happy. Either way though, it seems the library is where the happy people are at. Given that the UK, like the U.S., has seen many of its libraries closed over the past few years, perhaps this research should prompt a rethink about the worth of our libraries.”

More ways books make our lives better:

http://www.care2.com/causes/5-ways-books-improve-our-lives-and-make-us-better-people.html

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In Literature United

The “fundamental conflict of our times is not the clash between two civilisations, but doctrines-religious and ethnic fundamentalism on the one hand, secular consumerist capitalism on the other.”

“It is true of terrorism as it is of modern civil conflicts that men of war prey on the ignorance of the populace to instill fear and arouse hatred”; “murderous, even genocidal ideologies took root in the absence of truthful information and honest education.”

“If only half the effort had gone into teaching those people what unites them, and not what divides them, unspeakable crimes could have been prevented”.

“Literature can bring down violence in today’s world as reading and writing broadens minds. … Two contradictory forces shape the world of letters today …  the first is globalisation of human imagination and the second is anxiety of audience.”

From: newindianexpress.com

Reading is food for the soul

“When you talk about reading, you should look in the context of food; if you go for a day without eating how do you feel? So that is how we should be hungry for materials to read and that way we will remain healthy mentally. The challenge is to change things from up there. We the adults, if we change, the children will find it very easy to adapt”…

“Reading is not just about novels. It could be any newspaper, and it could books for leisure or any educational material.”

“Reading could be compared to food; you only improve the way you think, the way you do things by reading. That is why when you go to school you will be reminded that the teachers’ contributions on your ability to pass an exam is just about 40 per cent. The rest you have to read.”

From: postzambia.com

Readers vs Non-Readers

“The world is divided between readers and non-readers – and the difference between the two is enormous and unbridgeable.

Readers absorb; non-readers broadcast.

Readers know stuff; non-readers are running on empty.

Readers are curious; non-readers aren’t.

Readers are obsessed with the world beyond themselves; non-readers are self-obsessed.

Reading, like any addiction, has its problems. Once you discover that the best books are better company than most people, you can lose patience with the company of most people. To be caught without a book or a paper in a queue, at an airport or on a train, is extreme agony.The cure for the addiction, though, is easy – always have a book or paper on you; and do your best to minimise your time in the company of boring people – themselves almost always non-readers.”

From: blogs.telegraph.co.uk

Reading Fiction Leads to Sophisticated Thinking and Greater Creativity

“Are you uncomfortable with ambiguity? It’s a common condition, but a highly problematic one. The compulsion to quell that unease can inspire snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making.Fortunately, new research suggests a simple anecdote for this affliction: Read more literary fiction.”

“So how does literature induce this ease with the unknown?”

Researchers have the answer:

“Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal,“may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.”

“The thinking a person engages in while reading fiction does not necessarily lead him or her to a decision,” they note. This, they observe, decreases the reader’s need to come to a definitive conclusion.

“Furthermore,” they add, “while reading, the reader can stimulate the thinking styles even of people he or she might personally dislike. One can think along and even feel along with Humbert Humbert in Lolita, no matter how offensive one finds this character.

“This double release—of thinking through events without concerns for urgency and permanence, and thinking in ways that are different than one’s own—may produce effects of opening the mind.”

From: psmag.com

A Place Only Deep Reading Can Take Us

“To understand why we should be concerned about how young people read, and not just whether they’re reading at all, it helps to know something about the way the ability to read evolved. … Unlike the ability to understand and produce spoken language, which under normal circumstances will unfold according to a program dictated by our genes, the ability to read must be painstakingly acquired by each individual.

“The “reading circuits” we construct are recruited from structures in the brain that evolved for other purposes—and these circuits can be feeble or they can be robust, depending on how often and how vigorously we use them.

“The deep reader, protected from distractions and attuned to the nuances of language, enters a state that psychologist Victor Nell, in a study of the psychology of pleasure reading,likens to a hypnotic trance. Nell found that when readers are enjoying the experience the most, the pace of their reading actually slows. The combination of fast, fluent decoding of words and slow, unhurried progress on the page gives deep readers time to enrich their reading with reflection, analysis, and their own memories and opinions. It gives them time to establish an intimate relationship with the author, the two of them engaged in an extended and ardent conversation like people falling in love.

This is not reading as many young people are coming to know it. Their reading is pragmatic and instrumental: the difference between what literary critic Frank Kermodecalls “carnal reading” and “spiritual reading.” If we allow our offspring to believe that carnal reading is all there is—if we don’t open the door to spiritual reading, through an early insistence on discipline and practice—we will have cheated them of an enjoyable, even ecstatic experience they would not otherwise encounter. And we will have deprived them of an elevating and enlightening experience that will enlarge them as people. Observing young people’s attachment to digital devices, some progressive educators and permissive parents talk about needing to “meet kids where they are,” molding instruction around their onscreen habits. This is mistaken. We need, rather, to show them someplace they’ve never been, a place only deep reading can take them.”

More: ideas.time.com

Reading: The best Habit

“One of the best habits a parent or individual can inculcate in a child is the habit of reading. To encourage a child the pursuit of reading in the early stages is to ensure a continous process of discovery and learning, bridging the gap that the shortcomings of a formal system of education may have, which makes reading even more imperative. Reading books has many benefits both mentally and morally. What was once a preserve of the affluent and elite in society is now a tool of empowerment to the common man.

“The experience of reading can be for everyone. It brings out the rationalist in you and at the save time teaches you to dream. It takes you on journeys to far-off places and brings you back with a better realisation of the worth of your place and your own. It lets you like the lives of unknown men and women, feeling their joys and tears, getting carried away in their causes. Some inspire, some are lessons in introspection. For those who came in late, it’s never too late to begin. To not experience the joys of reading, therein lies the travesty.”

From: morungexpress.com

The Roots of Empathy, Compassion, and Ethical Behavior: Books

“it is this capacity to make up stories that makes us act morally. When we tell and hear stories about others, we discover an impulse to seek to understand their behavior. Instead of simply ascribing universal negative traits to describe behavior that we find troubling in others, we seek to describe actions using impulses that we understand. For example, instead of assuming that someone who cuts in traffic is unforgivably self-absorbed, the person who fills his or her life with stories will imagine that said traffic-cutter is rushing to the hospital. …

Stories are so important to the way that we relate to each other socially. They teach us to reconsider preconceptions and try on new perspectives. They teach us to imagine the stories behind the behavior we see in the world. They teach us compassion.”

More: m.dukechronicle.com