Thursday, 19 January 2017

Thought 438: Fertilisation in the Creative Process

"You creators, you superior humans!
Whoever has to give birth is sick; but whoever has given birth is unclean.

Ask the women: one does not give birth because it is pleasurable.
The pain makes hens and poets cackle.

You creators, there is much that is unclean about you.
That is because you had to be mothers.

A new child: oh how much new filth has come into the world with it!
Go aside! And whoever has given birth shall wash his soul clean!"

- Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The creative process can be understood both in terms of the feminine principle of receiving and the masculine principle of germination.

To take an example, creative writers are often vociferous readers of texts and as such follow the feminine principle of reception. 

In this state of receiving, something may catch and germinate in them, just as male sperm may at times fertilise female eggs, inciting and encouraging them to produce their own output: the child. 

Ditto, musicians will listen to and 'receive' the songs/compositions of other musicians and then, if this artistic wad catches so to speak, will somehow be moved to bring forth their own musical creation, often referred to as 'their baby'. 

As a creator myself it is always interesting to note which of the authors I read, artists I look at or musicians I listen to will be potent enough to germinate creative yearning in my own being and, by extension, new creations, i.e. artistic children, just as not all sperm comes to play the role of egg fertiliser.

Moreover, what we receive in-forms us just as the DNA contained in male sperm comes to combine with the DNA in a female egg to form a new, unique, child. 

That is to say, a creator's work, in whatever medium, may come to fertilise my own creative being which will bring forth a work (child) as a result and this child will represent a combined association of the (artistic) information that I received (the sperm) along with my own inner (artistic) sensibility/information that is already present in me (the egg). 

This is most obvious in music where bands are said to be inspired by and replicate the musical ideas of other bands, e.g. Nirvana and the Pixies, or in classical music where a specific musical tradition goes from composer to composer, e.g. Beethoven and Haydn, so that the artistic creation, the child, combines the DNA, i.e. information, of both the artist who inspired/fertilised as well as the artist who, so fertilised/inspired, brought forth/gave birth to the actual work. 

We can see therefore that art is rather like the long sexual chain of human generations, as artists fertilise (i.e. inspire) other artists who in turn fertilise others, all this creative information coming down through the centuries to shape the art we have today. 

The operative difference with sexual creation, however, is that the artist constitutes in himself both the fertilising man and the fertilised woman, if you will, since in receiving the work of other artists he is inspired (fertilised) to create (give birth) and this creation (child) in turn may inspire (fertilise) other artists who will bring forth yet more artistic children (creations), all this information passing down the line, just like D.N.A./genes in the (human) reproductive process.