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Friday, January 20, 2012

My Second Chicken & Egg Question

Is a vivid imagination a by-product of innate curiosity? Or, does an insatiable curiosity flow from inhabiting the world of imagination from the start?

Since finishing "Enchantress of Florence" by Salman Rushdie a few weeks ago, I've had trouble escaping this chicken and egg question. It's not the first time an author's imagination has dazzled me but this time I also found myself wondering what Rushdie might have been like as a young child. Did he ask a lot of questions? Constantly explore his surroundings? Pick up lots of objects and try to figure out how they work? Then I  tried to remember myself at a young age with respect to these markers of curiosity. Do you recollect how curious you were?

Did you have many imaginary friends? Did you invent games to play with them? Did you build lots of "make believe" worlds? Your answers might easily be "yes" to these indicators of imagination as well as for the ones about curiosity above. Or, maybe one set of questions resonates more than the other for you.  But what's your recollection of which came first? That's the chicken and egg part.

1 comment:

  1. So the question of what comes first, the inate curiosity that leads to an interesting discovery or the discovery of something that stokes the fires of curiosity, seems to fascinate us with the promise of some ultimate understanding. However cause and effect in human affairs often confounds our expectations. Might be the wrong model for understanding in the first place. Need something more organic but the vocabulary is still being worked out. See everything Carl Jung wrote! Sorry, being cheeky!