Thursday, September 13, 2007

Inspiration! Really!

My class last week was about Inspiration. What is that mysterious element in creativity? Can one be creative without the magic? The students in my class – about twelve in number – would be nearly 21 years old. I was looking forward to the discussion. What does this generation think about the magical element in creativity? I was pitting inspiration against human effort and agency. Who ultimately writes that path-breaking novel? Who actually paints the glorious picture? The artist or that unknown something\somebody? I got interesting answers. 99% divine inspiration 1% human effort said one. Many slave at their art; very few go on to actually produce something. It has to be 50% countered another; without human effort there can be nothing. The debate was heated. I told them about Thomas Edison’s 5% inspiration, 95% perspiration formula. But by then the class had ended. I kept wondering about the class. Nobody had categorically denied the importance of magic. Was it just this group of 21 year olds or is this generation far less doubting than the previous one? Tell me please

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