class discussion: 9/1

talked about the first writing project–the assignment is described on the “Writing Projects” link from my homepage. Started to ‘compost’ some ideas: autobiographical experiences you have had as a reader and writer.

Went back to page 22 in GE, which I suggest is a good model for how we can use autobiographical reflection to develop critical reflection–our focal point for the first essay. In other words, how we use personal voice and experience effectively in our writing without being superficial or sounding like we just want to talk about ourselves.

Birkerts makes a distinction between reflection (depth, understanding) and nostalgia (quick, immediate, desire to return to the past). In writing and developing critical reflection–we also want to focus on reflection rather than nostalgia. I noted that elsewhere in his book, SB is guilty of nostalgia, especially when he generalizes about new technologies.

I introduced three rhetorical terms we will get back to at different points: logos, ethos, pathos. The passage on page 22 I think is effective in using the reflection to develop pathos: our connection and sympathy with the writer. By the way, keep your eye on this idea of a reader’s sympathy–as the word will come up often in Frankenstein.


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