Creativity is something for hairdressers - so what is it for writers? Why the differentiation of 'literature' and 'writing' is obsolete, and what the Internet has to do with it

Abstract (in English): 

I will try to make a blend between the notion of "creative writing", which is typically American (and doesn't exist in most of continental Europe), and the discourse of creative industries, which is typically European, and try to stab the notion of "creative" a bit as a kind of helpless placeholder for something that, for whatever reason, is no longer called literary or artistic. So, referring to Kenny Goldsmith, it's not about a dichotomy creative/uncreative, but what's questionable about the concept in the first place. If we shift the issue from an idealist to a materialist perspective, then the difference between creative/literary writing and common writing has always been arbitrary.

The critical edition of Kafka, which now includes the documents he wrote for his insurance company, is a good example, as are earlier examples of published letters, diaries etc. Foucault's criticism of the the notion of the oeuvre, whether it would include scraps and laundry bills or not, seems quite backwards to me. The actual difference has been one of published and non-published writing, with publishing being (for technical and economic reasons) controlled by an industry.

With the Internet, particularly social media, this difference is gone. There also is no real difference anymore between written language and spoken everyday language, everything is in one space. Yet it seems to me as if 'electronic
literature'/e-poetry is not embracing this - which would even be a logical consequence of the innovation of literary writing through Joyce, W.S. Burroughs and others -, but preserving a narrow concept of the literary within the massive writing/reading environment of the Internet. (Hence also the insistence of e-literature on works in
self-contained files, a legacy of Brown University hyperfiction, which recurs for example in the acid-free bits debate.) My conclusion will be that the notion of 'creativity' is reactionary, and that 'uncreative' is just its dialectical flipside.

(Source: Author's abstract, 2012 ELO Conference site)

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Eric Dean Rasmussen