Unnoticeable “Lovely Writing”?

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The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to consider another astute reader’s response to a story after you have read it and formed your own (at least initial) opinions about it, to think critically about new perspectives on a story, and to respond to your peers to further your understanding about this story in particular and about literature in general.

Directions

  1. Read the following blog entry by Karen Carlson:
    • Lorry Raja.
      • “That’s what makes this story, as familiar as it is, work for me: it’s lovely writing. Yet I wonder, as I always do: when something stands up and announces itself as lovely writing, is it really lovely writing? Or is it one step removed from lovely writing, which would really be sort of invisible…?”
    • Pay close attention to the paragraph that begins:

    • Also note Carlson’s next paragraph, which describes the “heartstrings effect.”
  2. Write two paragraphs analyzing Vijay’s use of language in this story:
    • In the first paragraph, cite specific quotations from the story that you think contribute to lovely, or aesthetic, use of language. Does this writer use words similar to the way an artist uses paint? Are you able to picture what Vijay describes?
      • Provide at least two direct quotations from the story (with citations) as evidence for your claim.
      • Consider:
        • What effects arise from this “lovely” writing and the way it intersects with symbolism?
        • Do you agree that lovely writing should be unnoticeable?
        • Why or why not?
    • In the second paragraph, define what the “heartstrings effect” means to you (doing no more research than re-reading the blog entry and reflecting on your experiences of reading stories).
      • Cite specific examples from the story (direct quotations or paraphrases) that seem to be potentially overly-sentimental or emotionally manipulative.
      • Consider:
        • Is noting a heartstrings effect a valid criticism according to the way you read and make meaning of literature? Does it serve an artistic purpose?
        • Is it manipulative?
        • Should it be avoided?
        • If so, when and why?
  3. Post your TWO paragraphs
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