Overview


Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" dominates our collective imagination as the purest representation of human inquiry--the lone, stoic thinker. But while the Western belief in individualism romanticizes this perception of the solitary creative process, the reality is that scientific and artistic forms emerge from the joint thinking, passionate conversations, emotional connections and shared struggles common in meaningful relationships. In Creative Collaboration, Vera John-Steiner offers rare and fascinating ...
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Creative Collaboration

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Overview


Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" dominates our collective imagination as the purest representation of human inquiry--the lone, stoic thinker. But while the Western belief in individualism romanticizes this perception of the solitary creative process, the reality is that scientific and artistic forms emerge from the joint thinking, passionate conversations, emotional connections and shared struggles common in meaningful relationships. In Creative Collaboration, Vera John-Steiner offers rare and fascinating glimpses into the dynamic alliances from which some of our most important scholarly ideas, scientific theories and art forms are born. Within these pages we witness the creative process unfolding in the intimate relationships of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Henry Miller and Anais Nin, Marie and Pierre Curie, Martha Graham and Erick Hawkins, and Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz; the productive partnerships of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Albert Einstein and Marcel Grossmann, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, and Freeman Dyson and Richard Feynman; the familial collaborations of Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus, and Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson and Mary Catherine Bateson; and the larger ensembles of The Guarneri String Quartet, Lee Strasburg, Harold Clurman and The Group Theater, and such feminist groups as The Stone Center and the authors of Women's Ways of Knowing. Many of these collaborators complemented each other, meshing different backgrounds and forms into fresh styles, while others completely transformed their fields. Here is a unique cultural and historical perspective on the creative process. Indeed, by delving into these complex collaborations, John-Steiner illustrates that the mind--rather than thriving on solitude--is clearly dependent upon the reflection, renewal and trust inherent in sustained human relationships. Here is a unique cultural and historical perspective on the creative process, and a compelling depiction of the associations that nurtured our most talented artists and thinkers. By delving into these complex, intimate collaborations, John-Steiner illustrates that the mind--rather than thriving on solitude--is clearly dependent upon the dialogue, renewal, and trust inherent in sustained human relationships.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this carefully researched psychological study of creative collaboration, John-Steiner (Notebooks of the Mind) challenges the concept of the primacy of the individual championed by developmental theorists such as Piaget, and urges readers to consider cooperative effort as a new paradigm for human creative activity. In seven lucid chapters, this linguistics and education professor delineates three broad categories: developing "theoretical... models for collaboration," identifying "collaborative dynamics" in creative ventures and documenting "experienced thinkers" engaged "in joint efforts." John-Steiner considers an array of primary sources and historical examples, such as the creative partnerships between Henry Miller and Anais Nin and painters Picasso and Braque, as well as collaborations between scientists and social scientists. She includes numerous interviews with well-known artists and scientists like Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet and psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Though she addresses some very abstract notions--from the basis of gender identity to essential differences between modes of expression--John-Steiner's writing remains clear and delightfully plain. One intriguing area of her research that she might have developed further is the role sexuality and fantasy can play in creative collaboration. In any case, this book will appeal strongly to artists, musicians and intellectual collaborators who are serious students of the creative process. (Dec. 1) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
John-Steiner (linguistics and education, Univ. of New Mexico; Notebooks of the Mind) has been a leading scholar of creativity and sociocultural studies for over 30 years. Her new book, one of the first studies available of adult collaboration and group interaction from the perspective of cognitive developmental psychology, presents studies of artistic and intellectual collaboration among partners and small groups and across generations. John-Steiner's life-span approach stresses that social, cultural, historical, and biological conditions all contribute to optimum creative growth, challenging the traditional psychological view that creativity is an individual accomplishment. Drawing upon extensive interviews, biographical information, and Q-sort commentaries, the author demonstrates the importance of shared vision to individual achievement. Marie and Pierre Curie, Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, and Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein are just a few of the collaborations discussed. John-Steiner has laid the groundwork for further exploration of creative collaboration. An appendix showing the Q-sort questionnaire is also included. Essential for all academic libraries.--Ellizabeth Goeters, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"As studies of creative collaborations go, Vera John-Steiner's is a model of scholarship and deep understanding of the human psyche.Her book is a must for creativity studies." American Scientist

"Draws on a wide range of examples from the arts and sciences and includes a valuable bibliography that covers both popular and scholarly works on many aspects of partnership and common-cause endeavors."--"The Futurist

"A reader cannot but fail to be impressed by the scope of John-Steiner's literary palette as she describes with alacrity famous collaborators in fields as diverse as science, music, and art....Offers vivid alternative narratives that respond to her criticism that most of the literature on collaboration focuses on cognition while overlooking the power of relational dynamics."--Education Review

"John-Steiner challenges the concept of the primacy of the individual championed by developmental theorists such as Piaget, and urges readers to consider cooperative effort as a new paradigm for human creative activity....[The] writing [is] clear and delightfully plain.... [Creative Collaboration] will appeal strongly to artists, musicians and intellectual collaborators who are serious students of the creative process."--Publishers Weekly

"One of the first studies available of adult collaboration and group interaction from the perspective of cognitive developmental psychology....John-Steiner [disputes] the traditional psychological view that creativity is an individual accomplishment, demonstrat[ing] the importance of shared vision to individual achievement....[She] has laid the groundwork for further exploration of creative collaboration. Essential."--Library Journal.

"Vera John-Steiner contributes to this intellectual effort in Creative Collaboration . Her research attempts to deepen our understanding of creative achievement by exploring the relational contexts of individual and joint work. . . . This book lays the groundwork for the continuing exploration of the nature and nurturing of collaboration. John-Steiner has made a start describing the variety of ways that collaborators who are also experienced thinkers jointly work. She has begun to answer the question of what motivates extended collaboration and has given us some new language that captures the coupling of the affective and cognitive dimensions that are at the heart of these creative 'ensembles.'" -- Human Development

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198023258
  • Publisher: NetLibrary, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/9/2000
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Vera John-Steiner has been a leading scholar of creativity and education for over 30 years. Her book, Notebooks of the Mind: Explorations of Thinking, won the 1990 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association. A Professor of Linguistics and Education at the University of New Mexico, she lives in Santa Fe.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

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