Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Creative Maieutics.

Maieutics is the Greek term for midwifery.

Socrates used it to describe his dialogical method--by which he could bring forth truth by interrogating an individual to disclose a truth hidden behind the individual's often faulty beliefs.

Not that we have to use Socrates as a model or accept his rather combative procedure. (Everyone else was always wrong, and Socrates could always convert their ideas into his. He asked a lot of loaded questions to trap his interlocutors. In short, Socrates is kind of a terrible examplar for finding truth through discussion--but let that be.)

Creative maieutics would be concerned with the creative process as a process of invention, discovery and shaping.

How does creativity 'give birth' to new things and ideas?

A particular focus here will be on writing in general, screenwriting in particular, and filmmaking as a kind of exemplar.

But almost anything can be an exemplar or emblem of the creative process. Indeed, creative thought can be particularly concerned with exemplars and emblems: what's in image for something, an emblem of it?

As a long-time student of acting I often feel that acting is the best exemplar of the creative process--because it leaves no physical trace or reside (except when filmed or taped).

The actor must always create the performance anew from inside herself. So the creative challenge and task is always foremost on the actor's mind.

--E. R. O'Neill

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