Creativity across the Domains
In the preceding chapters, I have related the stories of seven remarkable human beings, each of whom made an indelible mark in one or more domains while also contributing uniquely to the shape of the modern era. Their stories are, I trust, of interest in their own right. Yet, given my focus on the conceptualization of creativity, I need to step back and discuss which lessons hold for the study of creativity in general.
In chapter 2, I introduced a framework for treating the complex issues of creativity. Explicitly developmental, that framework features a concern with the creators' childhoods, as related to their adult creativity; an interest in phases of development across the fife span; and a focus on the finer-grained steps that characterize moments of breakthrough. I posited a dynamic that appears to characterize all creative activity: an ongoing dialectic among talented individuals, domains of expertise, and fields charged with judging the quality of creations. According to my formulation, this dynamic is often characterized by various kinds of tensions and asynchronies: provided that the asynchronies are not overwhelming, they should prove conducive to the fostering of creative individuals, processes, and products. Finally, I suggested a set of guiding themes, most of which provided background for the study, but two of which emerged, unexpectedly, from the study itself
That framework has now been put to work, implicitly in the case studies and more explicitly in the three interludes. In this concluding chapter, I examine explicitly a number, but certainly not all, of the issues raised thus far. I touch on the major questions that motivated the study, providing,