The Next Step in Education or Beyond Authorial Intent: A Pause for a Fine Phrase (James A. Emanuel)

Eidos | 1/11/2019 | Staff
Goobee (Posted by) Level 4
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Writing every day impresses on me how hard finding just the right word, phrase, or sentence can be, let alone crafting an entire essay or book. Some like Plato can capture the words, in beautiful phrases, in sentences that are perfect, in books that are greater than the wonderful parts. Others can do just one thing: Churchill knew words, phrases, and sentences, though his books were not as good. Charlotte Bronte writes life changing books, even when her paragraphs sometimes fail her. James Fenimore Cooper could capture a time, painting his period in words nearly inaccessible to us now, but standing as a portal to his past.

There are so many ways to write something fine, but so hard to do it! Poetry helps, perhaps best of all, because great poetry is concentrated fineness.

Student - Poem - School

When a foolish student is assigned a poem in school, he thinks: “AHA! That will be fast.”

If the poet is very great, then one page of poetry can be finer, harder, more insightful than hundreds of pages of prose. When I grow frustrated with my inability, I turn to the poets who help me continue looking for a fine phrase. Yet all these great authors overwhelm. How can I write anything? Why not just read what they wrote? Perhaps, I should just imitate them.

Essay - Finer - Abolition - Man - Poem

How can I write an essay finer than Abolition of Man? I will never produce a poem so great as Langston Hughes. Should I just quit and copy? The opposite tendency, never read older, greater writers, does not appeal to me: too much beauty is lost.

What to do?

Copy - Paste - Plagiarists - Evil

Copy and paste is for plagiarists and an intellectual evil.

What about putting someone else’s ideas into my own words?

Start - Students - Adults - Times - Ways

That is a start for students, but not for adults. While times do not change in some eternal ways, they...
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