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Re: [xmca] imagination/creativity and so on

Not sure what "cheat fair" means, Paula.
The *Unicorn *is a very important object for me to think with, but I have
not yet tried to use it for thinking about the imagination/creativity
question I was raising. I suggested perusing the Cole-Levitin article


because it contains a discussion of the Russian term, voobrazhenie, which
the deaf-blind Russian
psychologist, Alexander Suvorov, claimed was the most basic constituent of
human cognition. And it
is the starting point from which I have been trying to think about
imagination in relation to the idea
of creativity. Its part of a larger inquiry into changes in higher
(mediated) psychological processes wrought by new, digital media of

So that others interested in this issue might enter the discussion, I insert
below Rilke's poem in
my favorite translation (I do not read German, so maybe its really lousy and
I am just imagining it
is good  :-)  ).

I would love to discuss this poem in the context of the discussion of
voobrazhenie. Is that of interest?
Lets see. Thanks for the idea. Here is the poem.

The Unicorn by Ranier Maira Rilke

This is the creature there never has been.

They never knew it, and yet, none the less,

they loved the way it moved, its suppleness,

its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene.

Not there, because they loved it, it behaved

as though it were. They always left some space.

And in that clear unpeopled space they saved

it lightly reared its head with scarce a trace

of not being there. They fed it, not with corn,

but only with the possibility

of being. And that was able to confer

such strength, its brow put for a horn. One horn.

Whitely it stole up to a maid, -- to *be*

within the silver mirror and in her.


On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 8:17 AM, Paula M Towsey <paulat@johnwtowsey.co.za>wrote:

> Dear and very special Wizard
> Thank you very much for providing links to documents, rather than to
> embargoed papers which, when converted by African exchange rates, make
> obtaining them a tad difficult for isolated individuals to get hold of(!)
> (no offense, Peter, LOL!).
> But, cheat fair now: when you really think about Rilke's unicorn, Mike,
> what
> does it tell you creativity is?
> Paula
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Mike Cole
> Sent: 23 May 2009 11:42 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
> Subject: [xmca] imagination/creativity and so on
> A comment from a long time xmca reader about the imagination/fantasy
> connection I cited a little earlier today pushes me to suggest that
> those interested in what the hell I am getting at visit
> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/People/MCole/Cultural-Historical2.PDF. Focus
> particularly on the
> way the notion of voobrazhenie is descontructed and reconstructed for
> current purposes.
> mike
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