Monday, April 9, 2012

The Neuroscience of Bob Dylan's Genius

An interesting extract from an article in the Guardian about the composition of Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. It makes a lot of sense.

"Just look at poets, who often rely on literary forms with strict requirements, such as haikus and sonnets. At first glance, this writing method makes little sense, since the creative act then becomes much more difficult. Instead of composing freely, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints.

Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they'll never invent an original line. They'll be stuck with clichés and conventions, with predictable adjectives and boring verbs.

And this is why poetic forms are so important. When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits the iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process."

The article on the website and in Saturday's Guardian is an edited extract from Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer, published on 19 April by Canongate Books at £18.99.


Peter Goulding said...

Have to wryly admit, I've borrowed a few of Bob's forms in the past - Tangled up in Blue and The Times are a -changin' come to mind

free-lance-chancer said...

Interesting. Thanks.