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On Self, the Spirit and Creativity

On Self, the Spirit and Creativity

By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr.
Deren was born in Kiev, but was raised in Syracuse, New York. She studied literature, especially the Symbolist poets, first at Syracuse University, then later at NYU and Smith College. It was in New York that she got involved both in radical politics and in modern dance. Even then, it would seem, Maya Deren understood art to be a form of radical politics and an experiment in radical religious vision. She eventually landed on film as the medium best suited to her own expansive visions, and she began making a number of important short films in an explosively creative period that began in 1946 and lasted until roughly 1951.