Too much Romantic baggage

Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman contains the following paragraph near the end:

“An eagle-eyed reader will have noticed that the word creativity appears in this book as little as possible. This is because the word carries too much Romantic baggage — the mystery of inspiration, the claims of genius. I have sought to eliminate some of the mystery by showing how intuitive leaps happen, in the reflections people make on the actions of their own hands or in the use of tools. I have sough to draw craft and art together, because all techniques contain expressive implications. This is true of making a pot; it is also and equally true of raising a child.” (290).

I have railed against this Romantic baggage in various electronic forums over the years — most notably the AML List. I have also discussed the whole notion of artistic inspiration in light of LDS belief in the Holy Ghost. What I haven’t done very well is elaborate a positive description of how I think Mormons, especially believing Mormons, should approach artistic creation. Reading The Craftsman has brought me one step closer. I still don’t have anything fully formed, but two specific ideas from Sennett are currently bouncing around my head: the importance of repetition and the valuable effects of play.