Wednesday, June 23, 2010

From Formspring: If dragons cannot create, does that just mean art or does it also mean things like engineering and technology? Can they only not invent things/ works of art or can they not even imitate or copy the works of others?

It isn't that dragons can't create, its that they aren't very good at it. Kind of like how some people are more creative than others. Dragons don't have a creative impulse like a lot of humans, but they do have an extremely refined sense of aesthetics. This is why they like treasure and luxury so much. That, and they are vain about their accomplishments and like to let other dragons know how well they are doing. As far as making things, they are far more content enjoying the creations of other intelligent beings. In fact, the only reason they consider humans above animals is because they admire their creativity.

As far as replication, yes dragons can copy things. This is most commonly done with music. Dragons have photographic memories, so as long as they know how to play the instruments, they can copy a performance or recording exactly from memory. Because they lack a creative spirit, they are less likely to add to or interpret a piece of music like a human musician would. For example, when Frank Sinatra sang My Way, he did it...well, his way. Later vocalists have done My Way their own way, too: like my favorite version by Sid Vicious. A dragon fond of singing might copy one of the abovementioned vocalist's style, but most wouldn't be able to put their own spin on it.

I suppose a dragon could, if they wished, copy other works of art. They might sculp their own statue of Michelangelo's David or duplicate Munch's Skrik, but they aren't likely to bother doing so. Most would prefer to own the original works than make copies of them.

The lack of creative spirit does cause a few frustrations for dragons. They have a hard time articulating emotions in a manner satisfying to humans. Garrett has some problems with this in the series when trying to explain to Meg how he feels. Normally very confident, he stumbles when Meg starts pressing him to tell her why he cares about her, as opposed to any of the literally millions of other women throughout time he could have had. Garrett is confounded by Meg's curiosity on the matter: he thinks it should be sufficient to say that he loves her and leave it at that. He isn't even that interested in examining his own feelings on the matter; a weakness Fraise exploits when he confronts Garrett about how foolish he's being falling in love with a human.