A quartet for collaborative thinking

Reading the John-Steiner’s fragment about collaborative process, I was overwhelmed with her vivid examples about working with different subjects, and the “stretching” of identities required in the process…

“He [Arnold Steinhardt] wrote about the beginning of his personal journey toward the indivisibility of their foursome:

Playing quartets was not exactly in the spirit of good old-fashioned American individualism. According to that script, I should have mounted my horse, slung my violin over my left shoulder, and ridden out of Severance Hall into the sunset, looking for solo concerts: tough, independent, self-sufficient. Instead I was banding together with three others in a communal endeavor whose low-action plot played itself slowly over the years. Unspectacular as it might at first be imagined, our new work was in fact quite remarkable and dramatic. I was entering a social unit with no boss, no underlings, and certainly no conductor. What was one to call a group of four men who regarded each other equally, or as equal as they wanted to be?”

It as impossible not to remember one of the first scenes from Waking Life where the quartet is rehearsing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the video of that specific part…

Hoping that, for whoever read this, watch the movie a bazillion times as I did to make sure I understand it.


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