(my kind of hat, over on the right)
I think the exhibit itself would be more compelling than the article, to tell the truth, as it's a bit thin and repetitive, but it did bring up the interesting point that Geisel and his collaborator/editor would pull out hats and put them on whenever they were stuck with writer's block.
"he and Frith would each pick a different hat, perhaps a fez, or a sombrero, or maybe an authentic Baroque Czech helmet or a plastic toy viking helmet with horns. They’d sit on the floor and stare at each other in these until the right words came to them."
I am hoping that the right words would come out in song and dance, or profound silliness. Still, I think that the idea of a writing hat, or perhaps even a closetful of them, is the perfect solution for academics who are struggling with their work. Ideally putting on the hat would give you the new perspective to break through an impasse in revising, or act as a literal "thinking cap" to help you discover what exactly is wrong with that wonky paragraph, or at the very least make you burst out into laughter and not take your problems so seriously --- and if you do not understand why that is so important, then you haven't been around enough academics!
Hmm, I wonder what the proper "job application writing hat" would be. Perhaps Viking horns? Or maybe the wide hat those South American gauchos wear, with the little dangly corks all around. I kinda like the idea of the bobbling as you bobble about for your interfolio login. Mm.
So now I turn it over to you: Writer's Block Hats/Hats of Creativity: yea or nay? Should they be allowed in the senior seminar or only at the graduate seminar level? Would there be penalties for having a fancier hat than your major professor? And most importantly, what would your ideal Writing Hat, the one that would be most helpful or perhaps the most emblematic of your writing process, be?
Or maybe that should be Writing Hats --- if Geisel could have a whole closet of creativity hats, I figure academics need at least a shelf of 'em.