January 31, 2015
Nicholas C. Burbules made that statement in a scholarly paper he wrote on the occupation of editing in a culturally diverse world.
Said another way: when I send in a piece of fiction for publication in a magazine, book, or for that matter … a professor to grade: if said piece of prose is not up to a particular editor’s level, or a particular instructor’s literary range of writing (off setting problems with grammar, punctuation, and correct word usage of course), then isn’t that indeed a form of cultural imperialism?
Who is really to say what good writing is? Has it to do with the rhetorical subscript set by some unseen source as to what is acceptable. Is it the readership of said piece that accounts for what is quality?
I dare say: “He who rules the present – rules the past; and in turn, rules the standards set to rule the present.” Is an oxymoron at work here?
I suppose there must be some standards by which we live our lives. Ahh … the irony of it all.
Best to all,
December 28, 2014
Writing is such a personal venture; yet it acclaims suffrage on so many levels. I had a visiting author tell me once: “Nobody likes to write, they just like it after it’s done..
Hummmm, I wonder if that’s true?
I, myself, write lots of different stuff > for different reasons> in different genres; and , I agree I do like it when I’m done.
But, sometimes, just banging on these keys: words flying, mental disorder abounding, a locutional discharge at such a rate I’m barely maintaining control.. The stimulus, at times, far outweighing the meaning.
-But not today!
Today, my rationale is: Why write at all?
To look back over my half-century plus and remember the starts and stops of this passion for me along the way; it, my writing, tells a story about me. Not so much an autobiography told in letters and photos; but, a history told in “bread-crumbs” dropped along the way; more like a trail so my path will remain visible as I wonder the greater uncertainties that lie ahead.
Writing is like that – a synonym for life lived.
I always think of Justin Torres’ novella, We the Animals. In it, his narrator says about life: ” We wanted more. We wanted much more.”
A keyboard to me: that “silver-tongued devil” that feeds my psyche and the lives of so many others.
Have a blessed New Year!!!!!!!!
December 20, 2014
AFTER 43 YEARS … I have finally achieved being “educated.” Or, have I??????????????
what I mean by this is …. it is my understanding by “unsourced” definitions in today’s society, anyone who has achieved a bachelor’s degree from an institution of higher learning has officially joined the ranks of the educated. So, at the ripe young age of 67, I have finally gained enough university credits to graduate with a B.A.
That being said, and to be brutally honest, this “paper chase” has, in reality, become just a part of the life I have and am currently living. To that I will add: What a great experience it has been and continues to be.
I stand amazed at the truth held by that statement for me.
I have worked, as have many others, to achieve academia … I thought there would be more of a mental “fire-storm” experienced. It seems possible the exhilaration expected has been dulled by the time spent chasing.
I believe though, I’m missing the bigger picture.
To live this long and achieve what I’ve done in my life …. I have been blessed.
I stand amazed at times how much my life experiences hold interest to my much younger student peers. Since my first academic go-around in the early 70’s was no “cake-walk,” and life that followed was “difficult.” And, it took another fifteen years or so to really come into my own; it’s complex to make people understand that just because they get a diploma – life can be a very ungainly path to walk.
Of course, I didn’t start a college setting till I was twenty-two; the military came before that, and I really continue to feel that gave me an edge … but, not much of one. I believe learning to stand on your own feet is as an important lesson as any I know of to help you get through what life is bound to throw at you. That’s the knowledge I try to pass on.
I’ve not known too many folks that have really “come-of-age” within themselves that the “school-of-hardknocks” hasn’t played a significant role in true identity.
I try to relate my story to that of Homer’s “Odyssey;” the trek to get home is long and filled with quagmires.
I pray they listen!