Hermes Writes; Apollo Revises. Where do stories come from? What is inspiration? Imagination?
In this class, we look to Hermes and Apollo for guidance. The trickster god and his rational brother never went away. They live on in pop psychology as Right Brain and Left Brain, in mainstream psychology as Divergent and Convergent, and in literary movements as a grab-bag of dualisms: Romanticism and Realism; Fire and Algebra, Surrealists and Oulipians … It doesn’t really matter if this duality is neurologically sound (for our purposes). Down the ages, it has survived as a shorthand for the dynamic forces of creativity.
Whatever name we give these polarities, at base they describe a sense of having two brains, two pathways to creation: The intuitive, poetic, playful well of inspiration, and the taskmaster, the censor, the priest of work. Of course, we need both.
This class will combine exercises and discussion to explore ways to incorporate these timeless ways of thinking to our own writing, with a particular emphasis on how the constraints of the Oulipo workshop can inform the work of revision and, paradoxically, free your creativity.