Creativity and Popular Culture

Synopsis

"In this book David Holbrook offers a fresh definition of creativity as a natural and fundamental dynamic in all human beings by which they seek to make sense of their lives. The symbolic expression of children is examined to support this view. Also examined are various manifestations of popular culture, manifestations that Holbrook suggests are manipulative - failing to satisfy primary needs, tending to encourage overdependence and regression. Holbrook believes that commercial culture has intuitively found ways of exploiting the natural needs of children. Without being able to offer any genuine sustenance for the existential needs of the child, commercial culture uses unconscious material to arouse deep anxieties and to seize the child's fascinated interest while promoting regression. Holbrook considers children's comics and pop lyrics, among other cultural media, and through them shows that commercial culture tends to enlist a preoccupation with disturbances for which there are no solutions. The anxiety aroused undermines a child's achievements. Children often seek solace in "pop cults" and, in the words of the late Marxist critic Charles Parker, are made "agents of their own debauchery." The fascination of cult loyalty impedes their natural growth and maturation processes - and their infantile addiction can follow them into adulthood. Case in point is the nostalgia of the Beatles generation. Upon John Lennon's death in 1980, some individuals who had grown up listening to the Beatles declared that there was "nothing left to live for." Holbrook investigates such group hysteria, noting its effects on the family, and asks poignantly if the total perversion of adult-child relationships is necessary to sell electronic recordings. Creativity and Popular Culture offers a new basis for discrimination in cultural criticism. That David Holbrook has hit his target is perhaps best proven by the fact that the publisher of one comic he discusses has refused to allow reproduction of the drawings." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Rutherford, NJ
Publication year:
  • 1994