The supreme bricoleur

James B. Ashbrook, Brain, culture & the human spirit: essays from an emergent evolutionary, Lanham (MD), University Press of America, 1992, p.93.

Play is « transcendent » (to use Edward Norbeck’s term), though only just so, brushing the surface of more spezialized neural organizations rather than existing apart from them or looking down from a godlike height on them. Play is the supreme bricoleur (indirect or unexpected move) of frail transient constructions, like a caddis worm’s case or a magpie’s nets in nature. Its metamessages are composed of a potpourri of apparently incongruous elements : products of both hemisphères are juxtapoxed and intermongled. Passages of seemingly wholly rational thought jostle in a Joycean or surrealist manner with passages filleted of all syntactical connectedness. Yet, although ‘ spinning loose » as it were, the wheel of play reveals to us (as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has argued ) the possibility of changing our goals and, therefore, the restructuring of what our culture states to be reality.