Summary Of Isaac Asimov's On Creativity

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Many struggle to succinctly define creativity, whether as an innate gift, cultivated talent, or product of circumstances. In his essay “On Creativity,” Isaac Asimov introduces more questions than answers as he attempts to define creativity as a process. Simultaneously writing against and in favor of individuality as the key to ideation, Asimov writes a comprehensive guide to forming creative ideas. Although he argues for the removal of formality and rigidity in creative acts, Asimov’s paradoxically strict directions for what is and is not appropriate revoke some of the sincerity from his words. Through inconsistencies in the development of his definition of the creative process as simultaneously individual and communal, the unreliability in Asimov’s narration draws attention away from his argument and towards his context, ultimately illustrating the fundamental nature of creativity as a spontaneous act rather than the product of a series of carefully followed steps.
The many contradictions in Asimov’s rules for the creative process weaken his argument by interrupting his flow of logic with non-committal and ambiguous statements. Asimov’s main contradiction occurs when he fails to adhere to his original position on the necessity of solitude to promote creative ideas. Although he originally states that “isolation is required,” he later claims that “a meeting […] may be desirable”. In the context of the rest of the essay, Asimov’s revised position is distinct in that it uses

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