Creativity Reading Response 15: Based in history

There was a book I had to read/use multiple times for summer reading assignments for my honors English classes in high school called How to Read Literature like a Professor that had multiple chapters over how almost all literature alludes or draws from the Bible, Shakespeare, etc. I know from studying fashion that almost all clothing that goes down the runway is part of a cycle of a trend that was around maybe 20 or so years ago. They are all creative takes on tried and true stories and outfits, but they aren’t completely original. It’s hard for anything to be completely original as we continue to build upon existing technologies.

Ogle says in Smart World how we are all “children of the Renaissance” (56). According to the reading, “we all routinely rely on a whole web of cultural and social practices and knowledge to guide our behavior” (54). It makes sense, honestly. We all use experts or models to help us figure out what might be the best path for us to solve our own problems or create something of our own. Even basic creative enterprises, such as crafting or knitting, have people using patterns or tried and true techniques and stitches. These give us the base to be able to play, develop and be creative. It’s hard to conceptualize a house until you have the foundation laid (or at least know how big that will be).

For us to go forward into the future we have to be able to learn from the past. Geniuses like Einstein, etc. learned from their predecessors and in turn we must use what they gave us to create a new tomorrow. The possibility of flying cars can’t even be thought of if it weren’t for Da Vinci thinking that humans could fly in the first place.

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One thought on “Creativity Reading Response 15: Based in history

  1. In 1980, I applied for an interdisciplinary fellowship. One of the lines I included in my narrative was: “Did you know that we’re living in the Renaissance?” There was a double entendre there–I meant that 1) the intellectual world in which we live is still based on the thinking that occurred in the historical Renaissance period, which turned the Medieval worldview on its head; 2) that the historical period in which we’re now living is a new Renaissance, since “renaissance” means “rebirth.” During the time in which we’re living, a new worldview is being born. But as you observe, we can’t just toss the past away as if it doesn’t matter. The new world is born on the foundation of the old one. Also, more than one famous philosopher said, “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

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