Narrating Creative Process

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    How might stories about making things shed light on cultural theorizations of the creative process work? This essay draws on oral narratives about Vishwakarma—the "Universe Maker" and the ancestral deity of Hindu artisans—along with his sons, daughters, and legendary human descendants. In a range of localities, languages, and dialects across India, written and oral myths and legends affirm hereditary artisan castes' connections to the divine craftsman Vishwakarma, even as the individuals who retell such stories may now pursue different occupations. Such narratives, I argue, offer insights into shifting associations between deities and hereditary caste occupations in India, while also commenting on the pleasures and dangers of creativity
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-123
    JournalNarrative Culture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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