The Exploratory and Creative Functions of Free Associations



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The Exploratory and Creative Functions of Free Associations



 

There is an important analogy "between the creative process in the sciences and the arts and the processes of free association: an analo­gy which is so close as to be almost an identity. This arises from the fact that it is impossible to produce free associations, to be freely imaginative, to be freely creative if at the same time and in the very moment of "freedom" one attempts to maintain a watchful, critical scru­tiny[18] of what one is producing. The person who is producing free associ­ations with least internal friction and interference is unable subse­quently to retrace the path of his associations, unable usually to re­member many of the items of their sequence. (This is analogous to the difficulty one has in recalling a list of nonsense syllables, which, rearranged to form words and sentences would be easily remembered as a single unit.) Therefore any retrospective inspection of free associ­ations must depend upon a detached observer who notes and records their sequence, or upon some automatic recording device. Similarly, the cre­ative scientist or the creative artist, writer, or musician, has to set down his productions, put them aside, and let time elapse, before he will be able to turn back to them with objective scrutiny, with lessen­ed identification and less personalized defense of them, than is pos­sible at the moment of creating or immediately thereafter. This ability to get outside of one's own skin, to view one’s own productions as though one were a third person, involves a transition from preconscious sym­bolic functions and preconscious identifications to conscious and ob­jective self-criticism. At the same time it requires a purging of conscious and preconscious processes of the unconscious ax-grinding which arises out of deeper levels of conflict and pain.

 

6. Willem van der Eyken

The developing child.

 

A human being is the most complicated piece of biological engineering in the world, and its development, from the first fertilisation[19] of the female egg through to the incredibly long growth period of some eighteen years to the full-grown adult, is one that baffles the imagination.

The complexity of the human brain, in particular, is one to inspire awe. It has been described as equivalent to a computer with l09 elements contained in a package occupying about one-tenth of a cubic foot weighing only three and a half pounds. But the now common practice of comparing the human brain to a computer is a scandalous exercise in oversimplification[20]. For the brain's elements provide biological factory that not only gives off continuous power but which feeds in a constant and diverse array of information for sorting, analysis and action. Moreover, the brain, unlike any computer, has the whole history of its development wrapped up in itself. It is as if the Concord airliner[21] had built into its own structure not only the airframes of earlier airliners, but the wooden struts used by the Wright brothers as well.

Not only does the brain contains a vast number of elements or brain cells, many of which have very special function, but each of these cells can, in theory, communicate with its neighbour to form a pathway and so create a network whose range defies calculation. It has been worked out that if the elements-were limited to a million the number of different two-cell links that could be formed would amount to 10 2,783,00, a number so vast that it would fill several books of this size just to write down. But the actual number of nerve cells is nearer 10,000 million!

In a famous quotation, Sir Charles Sherrington, one of the great research workers on the brain, once described it as ‘an enchanted loom, where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern, though never an abiding one. Only eight weeks after conception, the rudiments of this loom are at work, and by the seventh foetal month, it is possible to record some electrical ac­tivity from the growing brain. Because the evidence from these electrical impulses may in time lead to a greater understanding of the.divelopment of what we call intelligence and the phenomenon of learning, it is worthwhile considering them in greater detail.

 

7. Z. Harris.

Discourse analysis

 

Discourse analysis performs the following operations upon any single connected text. It collects those elements (or sequences of elements) which, have identical or equivalent environments within a sentence, and considers these to be equivalent to each other (i.e. members of the same equivalence class). Material which does not belong to any equivalence class is associated with the class member to which it is grammatically most closely tied. The sentences of the text are divided into intervals each a succession[22] of equivalence classes, in such a way that each resulting[23] interval is maximally similar in its class composition to other in­tervals of the text. The succession of intervals is then investigated for the distribution of classes which it exhibits, in particular for the patterning of class occurrence.[24]

The operations make no use of any knowledge concerning the meaning of the morphemes or the intent or conditions of the author. They require only a knowledge of morpheme boundaries, including sentence junctures[25] and other morphemic intonations (or punctuation). Application of these operations can be furthered by making use of grammatical equivalences (or individual morpheme occurrence relations) from the language as a whole, or from the linguistic body[26] of which the given text is a part. In that case it is necessary to know the grammatical class of the vari­ous morphemes of the text.

Discourse analysis yields considerable information[27] about the struc­ture of a text or a type of text, and about the role that each element plays in such a structure. Descriptive linguistics, on the other hand, tells only the role that each element plays in the structure of its sentence. Discourse analysis tells, in addition, how a discourse can be constructed to meet various specifications. It also yields information about streches of speech longer than one sentence, thus it turns out that while there are relations among successive sentences, these are not visible in sentence structure (in terms of what is subject and what is predicate, or the like), but in the pattern of occurrence of equiva­lence classes through successive sentences.

 

Otto Jespersen

Growth and structure of the English language.

 

Loan - words have been called the milestones of philology, because in a great many instances they permit us to fix approximately the dates of lin­guistic changes. But they might with just as much right[28] be termed some of the milestones of general history, because they show us the course of ci­vilization and the wanderings of intentions and institutions, and in manycases give us valuable information, as to the inner life of nations. When in two languages we find no trace of the exchange of loan-words one way or the other, we are safe to infer[29] that the two nations have had nothing to do with each other. But if they have been in contact, the number of the loan-words and still more the quality of the loan-words, rightly in­terpreted, will inform us of their reciprocal relations, they will show us which of them has been the more fertile in ideas and on what domains of human activity each has been superior to the other. If all other sources of information were closed to us except such loan-words in our modern North-European languages as “piano”, “soprano”, “opera”, “libretto” “tempo”, “adagio”, etc., we should still have no hesitation in drawing the conclu­sion that Italian music has played a great role all over Europe. Similar instances might easily be multiplied, and in many ways the study of language brings home to us the fact that; when a nation produces something that its neighbours think worthy of imitation these will take over not only the thing but also the name. This will be the general rule, though exceptions may occur, especially when a language possesses a native word that will lend itself without any special effort to the new thing imported from abroad. But if a native word is not ready to hand it is easier to adopt the ready-made word used in the other country; this foreign word is very often imported even in cases where it would seem to offer no great difficulty to coin an adequate expression by means of native word-material. As, on the other hand, there is generally nothing to induce one to use words from foreign languages for things one has just as well at home, loan words are nearly always 'technical' words belonging to one special branch of knowledge or industry, and may be grouped so as to show what each nation has learnt from each of the others.

 

 

HAMLIN GARLAND

 

LOCAL COLOR IN ART

Local color in fiction is demonstrably the life of fiction. It is the native element, the differentiating element. It corresponds to the end­less and vital charm of individual peculiarity. It is the differences which interest us[30]; the similarities do not please, do not forever stimulate and feed as do the differences. Literature would die of dry rot if it chronicled the similarities only, or even largely.

Historically, the local color of a poet or dramatist is of the greatest value. The charm of Horace is the side light he throws on the manners and customs of his time. The vital in Homer lies, after all, in his local color, not in his abstractions. Because the sagas of the North delineate mo­re exactly how men and women lived and wrought in those days, therefore they have always appealed to me with infinitely greater power than Homer.

Similarly, it is the local color of Chaucer that interests us today. We yawn over his tales of chivalry which were in the manner of his contemporaries, but the Miller and the Priest interest us. Wherever the man of the past in literature showed us what he really lived and loved, he moves us. We understand him, and we really feel an interest in him.

Historically, local color has gained in beauty and suggestiveness and humanity from Chaucer down to the present day. Each age has embodied mo­re and more of its actual life and social conformation until the differen­tiating qualities of modern art make the best paintings of Norway as dis­tinct in local color as its fiction is vital and indigenous.

Every great moving in literature today is full of local color. It is this element which puts the Norwegian and Russian almost at the very summit of modern novel writing, and it is the comparative lack of this distinctive flavor which makes the English and French take a lower place in truth and sincerity.

Everywhere all over the modern European world, men are writing novels and dramas as naturally as the grass or corn or flax grows. The Provençal, the Catalonian, the Norwegian, is getting a hearing. This lite­rature is not the literature of scholars[31]; it is the literature of lovers and doers, of men who love the modern and who have not been educated to despise common things.

These men are speaking a new word. They are not hunting themes, they are struggling to express.

 

 

10. FRANK NORRIS

THE NOVEL WITH A "PURPOSE"

 

After years of indoctrination and expostulation on the part of the artists, the people who read appear at last to have grasped this one precept[32]-“the novel must not preach" but "the purpose of the story must be subordinate to the story itself." It took a very long time for them to understand this, but once it became apparent they fastened upon it with a tenacity comparable only to the tenacity of the American schoolboy to the date "1492". "The novel must not preach," you hear them say.

As though it were possible to write a novel without a purpose, even if it is only the purpose to amuse. One is willing to admit that this savours a little of quibbling[33], for "purpose" and purpose to amuse are two different purposes. But every novel, even the most frivolous, must have some reason for the writing of it, and in that sense must have a "purpose."

Every novel must do one of three things-it must (1) tell something, (2) show something, or (3) prove something. Some novels do all three of these; some do only two, all must do at least one.

The ordinary novel merely tells something, elaborates a complication, devotes itself primarily to things. In this class comes the novel of adventure, such as "The Three Musketeers."

The second and better class of novel shows something, exposes the workings of a temperament, devotes itself primarily to the minds of human beings. In this class falls the novel of character, such as"Romola."

The third, and what we hold to be the best class[34], proves something, draws conclusions from a whole congeries of forces, social tendencies, race impulses, devotes itself not to a study of men but of man. In this class falls the novel with the purpose, such as "Les Miserables."

And the reason we decide upon this last as the highest form of the novel is because that, though setting a great purpose before it as its task, it nevertheless includes, and is forced to include, both the ot­her classes. It must tell something, must narrate vigorous incidents and must show something, must penetrate deep into the motives and cha­racter of type-men, men who are composite pictures of a multitude of men. It must do this because of the nature of its subject, for it deals with elemental forces, motives that stir whole nations. These cannot be handled as abstractions in fiction.

 

II. Тексты с преобладающей информацией второго рода.

 

1. ALAN MARSHALL

 

HOW MY FRIENDS KEEP ME GOING[35]

 

It is 10 a.m. and I have just taken the liver oil recommended by my grandmother. In two hours I shall take four concentrated liver pills and a spoonful of digestive powder, all supplied by my friends. I shall then lunch on nuts and raisins and finish up with a teaspoonful of my after-meals digestive powder and a wineglass of tonic[36].

I blame my friends for my sad condition."

A few weeks ago I could eat pork chops and cucumber salad. Now these dishes cause a state of seasickness.

It is all due to my desire to "keep going".

George started it: "You look white. You must eat plenty of raw li­ver. It makes blood." "I don't like the taste of raw liver," I said.

"You take it in pills," he said. "It's concentrated. Each pill represents half a pound of liver, and you take four before each meal."

"That makes six pounds of liver a day, "I said. "Isn't it too much?

"I think not," said George.

Next day I met Bill. He recommended me the tonic.

George gave me the powder[37] to be taken after meals and Alf the powder to be taken before eating. My grandmother recommended the liver oil. I followed the advice of my friends. Now I had to prepare for bed an hour earlier to get through all the things I had to take. But I got worse and worse. Then I couldn't sleep.

I told George: "I can't sleep."

He took me aside and gave me some tablets. They were the smallest tablets I had ever seen. You've never seen such small tablets.

"Take one when you get into bed," he said, "but don't tell anyone that I gave them to you. They are prohibited," he said. "I got them from a chap that knows a doctor and they're only to be taken when you can't possibly sleep."

I took two on Sunday night. When I woke up the house was full of my friends. There was a doctor standing by my bed and it was Tuesday afternoon. Well! I must have slept. All my friends had their hats off and they are the sort of friends who wear their hats anywhere.

Keeping going is too dangerous.

2.W. JACOB

FAIR EMILY

A few days passed, and Captain Brisket came to Mr. Chalk's house.

Mr. and Mrs. Chalk were talking with Captain Bowers who had come with the hope to find out something about the stolen map.

"Captain Brisket," said the maid, opening the door.

Having shaken hands with everybody, Captain Brisket said: "Mr. Chalk, the Fair Emily is waiting for you."

"The fair who?" cried Mrs. Chalk in a terrible voice.

Captain Brisket turned and looked at her in amazement.

"Emily who?" "Emily what!" "Why, it's а ..."

"Hush!" said Mr. Chalk in fear. "It's a secret."

"It's a secret," said Captain Brisket, nodding calmly at Mrs. Chalk.

"A...secret?" cried Mrs Chalk. "You sit there and dare to tell me that ."

"It isn't my secret," said the frightened Mr. Chalk.

"It isn't his secret," repeated Captain Brisket.

"What has she got to do with my husband?" asked Mrs. Chalk. There was no answer. Mrs. Chalk sat helplessly in her chair, looking from her husband to Captain Brisket. Captain Bowers suddenly broke the silence.

"What's her tonnage?" he asked, turning to Brisket.

"Two hundred and forty..."

Captain Brisket stopped dead, then said looking at Mrs. Chalk: "The Fair Emily is a ship."

"It's a ship," repeated Captain Bowers, "a ship! For some reason, best known to himself, Mr. Chalk wants to keep the matter secret."

"Is this true, Thomas ?" asked Mrs. Chalk.

"Yes, my dear," was the reply.

"Then, why didn't you tell me about it at once ?"

"I ... I wanted to give you a surprise... I have bought a ship to go for a little cruise, just for pleasure."

"With Tredgold and Stobell," said Captain Bowers, very loudly and distinctly. Mrs. Chalk paid no attention to what he said. Speaking about the schooner as "our yacht", she at once began to discuss the voyage, the dresses she would take with her and so on.

Mr. Chalk kept silent. Then Captain Bowers rose thoughtfully, shook hands and left.

 

W.S. MAUGHAM

 

FOINET’S ADVICE

 

Philip knew that Foinet lunched at a little restaurant in the Rue d' Odessa, and he hurried his own meal so that he could go and wait outside till the painter came out. Philip walked up and down the crow­ded street and at last saw Monsieur Foinet walking towards him; Philip was very nervous, but he made himself go up to him. "I should like to speak to you for one moment," he began. Foinet gave him a quick look, recognized him, but he did not smile a greeting. "Speak," he said.

"I've been working at the studio nearly two years now under you[38]. I want to ask you to tell me frankly if you think it worth while for me to continue." Philip's voice was shaking a little. Foinet walked on without looking up.

"I'm very poor," Philip continued. "If I have no talent I would rather do something else." Foinet turned round. "Let us go to your studio. You shall show me your works. " "Now?" cried Philip. "Why not?" Philip had nothing to say. He felt terribly frightened. In his heart he hoped that Foinet would look at his pictures, would shake his hand and say: "Not bad. Go on, my boy. You have talent, real talent."

They arrived at the house. Philip suddenly felt that he did not want to know the truth; if he could he would have asked Foinet to go away. In the room Foinet sat down; and Philip without a word placed before him two portraits, two or three landscapes, and a number of sketches. "That's all," he said with a nervous laugh.

Foinet lit a cigarette. "You have very little money?" he asked at last. "Very little," answered Philip, with a sudden feeling of cold at his heart. "Not enough to live on."

"With hard work there is no reason why you should not become a painter. You would find hundreds who painted worse than you, hundreds who painted as well. I see no talent in anything you have shown me. You will never be anything but mediocre. But if you were to ask me my ad­vice, I should say: try your luck at something else. It sounds very hard but let me tell you this: I would give all I have in the world if someone had given me this advice when I was your age and I had taken it. "

Philip looked up at him with surprise.

"It's cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too la­te.” He gave a little laugh as he said the last words and quickly wal­ked out of the room.

 

 

ALFRED COPPARD

 

TRIBUTE

Two honest young men, Tony Vassal and Nathan Regent[39], lived in Braddle and worked together at the factory at Braddle. Tony married Patience Smith and Nathan married a rich girl.

About that time, you must know, the country started a war. The war demanded much money of Braddle. The workers of the Braddle factory worked day and night to provide money for war. Almost everybody in Braddle became white and thin because they worked from morning till night. Not quite everybody, for the Regent's wealth increased so much that they did not know what to do with it; their faces were neither white nor thin!

"In times like these," said Nathan's wife," we must help our coun­try still more, still more we must help; let us lend our money to the country."

"Yes," said Nathan.

So they lent their money to their country. The country paid them tribute. And as their wealth continued to increase, they helped their country more and more, and received more tribute for that.

"In times like these," said the country, "we must have more men, more men we must have".

"What can we do to help our country?" asked Tony Vassall of his master," we have no money to lend."

"But you can give your strong son Dan," answered his master.

Tony gave his son Dan to the country.

"Good-bye, dear son," said his father, and his brother, and his sister Nancy said "Good-bye." His mother kissed him.

Dan fell in battle; his sister Nancy took his place at the facto­ry. Soon the neighbours said to Tony Vassal, "What a fine strong son is your young Albert Edward!"

And Tony gave his son Albert Edward to the country.

"Good-bye, dear son," said his father; his sister kissed him, his mother cried.

Albert Edward fell in battle; his mother took his place at the factory. But the war did not stop. And Tony Vassal went to battle and fell too. The country gave Patience a pension; but she died of grief. Many people died in those days, it was not strange at all. Nathan and his wife got so rich that after the war they died of over-eating, and their daughter Olive got great wealth.

 

 

4. P.G. WODEHOUSE

 

DEEP WATERS

 

According to some historians, there was a young man in Rome who was a brilliant swimmer. When people said "he swims like a fish", ot­hers used to answer, "no, the strongest fish swim like him!"

George Callender was such a swimmer too. George moved through the sea as silently and as powerfully as a torpedo. When he swam the crawl, people opened their mouths and forgot to close them.

George came to Marvis Bay on the sea coast one evening in July. Marvis Bay is a pleasant place, visited by many tourists and people on vocation. George stood on the pier looking down into the water when he noticed a beautiful girl swimming in the water near the pier. She swam well. As a specialist, George could see that immediately. He watched with admiration, as she moved easily and quickly over the waves to­wards the pier. As she came nearer, he leaned over the rail to see her better. At that moment, the girl turned to swim on her back; and her eyes met his. Then she turned over again and disappeared under the pi­er. Now George leaned over still farther, so far that his hat fell off his head. He tried to catch his hat with one hand - and lost his ba­lance and fell into the water. George shook the water out of his eyes and was about to begin swimming to the shore, but at this moment, he felt two strong hands under his back and a voice in his ear sa­id: "Don't be afraid; don't struggle; there is no danger."

George did not struggle, he was working out a plan of action. For a young man one of the most difficult things in the world is to be introduced to the girl of his dreams. What a wonderful opportunity this was for George! They were not yet friends, but they had met. A girl who has saved a man from death in the sea cannot pass by him the next day without speaking to him.

"It was wonderful!" George said with deep feeling. "You are the bravest, the finest, the best..." He saw that she was smiling.

"You must learn to swim," the girl said. "I can teach you in a we­ek." Like all decent people, George didn't like liars, and ordinarily he didn't tell lies. But this time the struggle between George and George's conscience was short. His conscience had no chance to win from the beginning.

"I'll be glad and thankful if you will," said George. And even before he finished saying the words, he knew that he would have to continue telling lies for many days. The true explanation was impos­sible. But his heart was not heavy; it even sang a little.

 

5.F.R. BARRATT

 



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