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Creativity, Culture and Values

Comparative Essays in Literary Aesthetics

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Shirley Paolini

This book examines the relationship between creativity and cultural values, including Western and Eastern perspectives. Creativity, as process and product, occurs within as well as against tradition from early to modern times. Shirley Paolini offers a pluralistic account of theories of creativity, drawing upon literary criticism, aesthetics, and psychology. She makes a case for Janusian thinking, the Collective Unconscious, and the dreamlike experience. The author extends theories of creativity in a series of primarily literary case studies. She compares works of Dante, Kafka, Dali, Blake, and Joyce; Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn; Twain and Michener, and Ai-Ling Chang and Li Ang. The book shows how creativity operates under varying cultural values and expectations.
Contents: Creativity: Process and product - Aesthetic theory and creativity - Creative dream processes - Genius and inspiration - Freedom and creativity - Aesthetic objects - Creativity and values - Creativity, culture, and conformity.