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[xmca] Poetry as a High
When I first read this, I thought that he COULDN'T have said it, for three reasons:
a) Vygotsky considers poetic links to be mainly complexive, or preconceptual, related to the "autistic" "irrealist" function that Martin was talking about in response to Larry's remark about being a "prisoner of illusions". Of course, Vygotsky doesn't consider autistic thinking to be the lowest form of thinking, but it's not the highest either (See Chapter Two of Thinking and Speech, especially Section Two, p. 62 in the Minick version).
b) Vygotsky considers poetry almost synonymous with verbal art, or with art general, and therefore comparable to "science" as form of understanding, with high conscoiusness and low consciousness. So it would be a little like saying that "science is the highest form of consciousness". What SORT of science? What KIND of science? And what kind of art? (See Psychology of Art, p. 31, bottom of the page, and Ivanov's very insightful remark that this view connects Vygotsky's aesthetic to that of Brecht in a pretty direct way).
c) Vygotsky considers the goal of esthetic education to be exoteric rather than esoteric: that is, he believes that the task of educators is not to infuse art with "real life", as the nineteenth century realists, naturalists, and pessimists (and the 20th Century Dadaists) were doing, but rather to infuse real life with art. So he says:
"Beauty has to be converted from a rare and festive thing into a demand of everyday existence. And creative effort has to nourish every movement, every utterance, every smile of the child’s. Potebnya put it quite elegantly when he said that, just as electricity is present not only where there are thunderstorms, so is poetry present not only where there are great works of art, but wherever man speaks. This is the poetry “of every moment,” and it is this which is the most important of all the tasks of esthetic education."
(Esthetic Education, in "Educational Pedagogy", p. 261)
In his discussions of poetry, Vygotsky likes wine metaphors (e.g. the Wedding of Cana story in "Esthetic Education" and Psych of Art). But a real oenophile is not an alcoholic, or even a comon drunk; good plonk is just too good to use as a high.
Seoul National University of Education
From: Robert Lake <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Anything new on creativity that you want cited in a new publication
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, March 4, 2011, 1:08 PM
I am on a fact checking mission.
Did Vygotsky ever actually say that poetry was an expression of one of
highest "levels" of consciousness?
Thank-you in advance for any light you can shed on this.
On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 1:35 PM, larry smolucha <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:
> Message from Francine Smolucha:
> Greetings to all!
> The first XMCA e-mail I sent out to you in June was never posted on XMCA.
> So, I will make one more outreach before my new publication deadline.
> My husband Larry and I introduced "Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity" in the
> with my original translations of Vygotsky's works from Russian.
> We have been asked to write a chapter reviewing the research literature for
> a book
> to be published in 2011. We will also be previewing new work in press and
> in progress.
> The chapter is nearly done; we discuss the Vygotsky and Creativity book,
> Marilyn Fleer's new book,
> Egan Kiernan's new book, Elena Kravtsova's research (citing Russian texts),
> Gunilla Lindqvist's work,
> and much more. [I will also be reviewing the Vygotsky and Creativity book
> for a journal.]
> We also set forth a research agenda based on our own thorough exegesis of
> Vygotsky's texts and our
> own research.
> Recently, I spoke with Robert Lake and I will be citing his up-coming book
> that discusses Vygotsky,
> creativity, and metaphor.
> If you have a publication scheduled for a 2011 release, and want it to be
> mentioned send me
> some e-mail information and a bibliographic entry. You do not need to send
> the actual text
> in progress.
> xmca mailing list
*Robert Lake Ed.D.
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
P. O. Box 8144
Phone: (912) 478-5125
Fax: (912) 478-5382
Statesboro, GA 30460
*Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
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