Introduction: creativity, language, literature

Pope, Rob and Swann, Joan (2011). Introduction: creativity, language, literature. In: Swann, Joan; Pope, Rob and Carter, Ronald eds. Creativity in Language and Literature: the state of the art. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 217–230.



In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in creativity, or artistry, in everyday language, and in potential continuities between such everday creativity and literary language. Linguists have discussed the poetic nature of "common talk", creativity in language play amongst children and adults, and the appropriation of literary-like patterns in genres such as advertising and Internet discourse. Ethnographically oriented research has added the study of creative language practices and their location within particular cultural contexts. Meanwhile, there has been a massive growth in Creative Writing as an educational practice and academic subject, often in or around English.

Literary language itself has come under scrutiny from those who would challenge or defend its singularity; and boundaries around the literary - and indeed around language - are pushed and prodded by those with an interest in transformation and change; in genereic hybridity and creative play across modes, media and techologies. Writers have also engaged in theorizing creativity across language, literature and culture. In addition to its theoretical and research interest, such work has implications for the English curriculum at both school and HE level and may challenge traditional distinctions, e.g. between "language" and "literature". This is a forum for the meeting of linguistic science, critical understanding and creative practice: the "state" as well as the "art" of all three may change as a result.

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