Welcome from Amy D. Unsworth

Language, Literature, Learning & Life.

Driven to Write

In the mail today was the March 2005 issue of the National Geographic and the feature article is all about the functioning of the brain. Doctors and scientists are working to map the areas that impact different aspects of speech, sensory imput, and control. The issue explores different areas of the brain in "mini-profiles." I found the profile of the "Prefrontal Cortext, limbic system, and temporal lobe" to be especially interesting because it talks about a disorder called "hypergraphia, a manic disorder characterized by an irrepressible urge to write" (28). I didn't realize that there was such a disorder. But, the article suggests evidence pointing towards the temporal lobe as "the neural underpinings of literary creativity." So, writing might be a task we're genetically programed to do?

Does this mean as writers, there's something inherently different about our brains? Would this contradict or reinforce the idea that writers are in some way the manifestation of social values and thus their creativity isn't their own, but merely the way that the pressures of the social systems have converged to produce the writing? (Oh, this is literary theory and I only know about a mudpuddle's worth right now. If you know the theorist/theory, please let me know.)
Would it be rather like finding out that the reason Monet painted the way he did perhaps had more to do with his faulty vision rather than genius or innovation?

No comments: