WM: Elbow

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"...that the fucntion of writing is to record what we have already decided-not to figure out whether we believe it." (WM: Elbow pg. 139)

      This quote seemed to drive one of Eblow's more demanding points: That in writing, one often loses the spontaneity of oral thought, and instead of discovering new truths about our views, we instead focus in on organzing beliefs and opinions that we have already confirmed. What Eblow seems to assert is that writing, while useful in its ability to force the writer to think within organizted, well crafted terms, is also useful in finding and challenging new truths and ideas within ourselves (perhaps thorugh a more improvised way). Writing can be used as a way of clarifiction, and perhaps we often placed too much emphasis on soley consutrcuting papers that simply state truths we already know (Part of Eblow's theory of "getting it right"). Instead of always "getting it right", one can lend their thoughts to the unknown, challenge and explore the capacities within oneself, and through that somehow discover an underlying truth would could be set as a cornerstone for personal growth and understanding.

 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL336/2008/02/12/

3 Comments

Jeremy Barrick said:

The challenge that a writer put us up against is what causes conflict in our lives. Is it real, or is it faux? Trying to transform our opinions into the way the writer persuades is the battle.

Rachel Prichard said:

ah yes. Another point for the written word. I beleive people actually already do that. we are doing it right now by blogging, there is no order to what we are exploring. It is good youpointed out a certain cliche of how writing is, but what can we do to change it or tweek it a bit?

I liked this quote that you chose as your agenda item. It is funny because he writes that writing is not to figure out whether we believe certain thoughts. It is kind of ironic in the context of the blogosphere because we are constantly writing about things and trying to figure out our feelings on them. I wonder how Elbow feels about the idea of journaling. Does he de-value this type of writing because it is about contemplation a lot of the time?

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