Response to discussion two months ago re rhetoric in a democratic
culture: issues in composition in Canadian universities--Rick, Russ,
Russ made the distinction between Writing and writing, and said that
the best way to "defang"Rick's posting would be to compliment him on
his style. Yes. And I agree that that is indeed the way most student
academic writing is approached--by evaluating it.
In addition, some writers themselves avoid conflict and dialogue by
over-writing, writing in such a way as to call attention primarily to
their own style. Another "trick" is to make their writing so dense and
obscure that it is incomprehensible.
Your discussion reminded me of the following:
"Why do we write? I submit that beyond all rewards, either described...or
imagined...(an) answer to the question is: we write because we want
to change things. We write because we have this arrogant but
absolutely essential conviction that our curious little marks and
squiggles, read by others, can make a difference. The 'difference'
may be a new perception of beauty, a new insight into
self-understanding , a new experience of joy, or a decision to join
the revolution. My own rebbe, Elie Wiesel, provides the text for
this conviction, and I have it hung on the wall above my desk.
"Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of
deeds.'" --Robert McAfee Brown
Supervisor, Writing Centre
University of New Brunswick, Saint John
P.O. Box 5050
Saint John, NB
Fax: (506) 648-5528
Phone: (506) 648-5502
Email: [log in to unmask]