Strange loops: Creative practice and philosophies of selfhood

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In A Creative Writing Research Methodology: New Directions, Strange Loops and Tornados (2009), Nicola Boyd takes the conceptual movement of Douglas Hofstadter’s Strange Loop as a model for creative research, and a plausible creative methodology. She describes the movement of a Strange Loop as a self-repeating spiral and, as a familiar sensation in creative writing, one useful as an effective metaphor for the emergence of focus in the writing process. But Boyd’s model overlooks Hofstadter’s original use of the Strange Loop as a neurological explanation for consciousness that is linked to narrative theories of selfhood. Arguably, taking an interdisciplinary focus in reading creative writing through Hofstadter could potentially serve to augment discussions of selfhood in the Creative Writing discipline. I contend that Boyd has inadvertently opened the way for a potentially rich discourse examining the involvement of self within the creative process. I question the manner in which a Strange Loop constructs self, and just how this might relate to the act of writing.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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