Sunday, March 20, 2005

Academic versus personal writing: another perspective

In a post entitled Blogging as Creative Nonfiction over at Composition Southeast, SG refers to a book called The Fourth Genre edited Root and Steinberg. From there, a quote from Nancy Simmonds:
If I could teach my students one lesson about writing it would be to see themselves as sources, as places from which ideas originate, to see themselves as Emerson's transparent eyeball, all that they have read and experienced--the dictionaries of their lives--circulating through them. I want them to learn how sources thicken, complicate, enlarge writing, but I want them to know too how it is always the writer's voice, vision, and argument that create the new source. (181)

Being personal, I want to show my students, does not mean being autobiographical. Being academic does not mean being remote, distant, imponderable. Being personal means bringing their judgments and interpretation to bear on what they read and write, learning that they never leave themselves behind even when they write academic essays. (182)
Just this section, alone, makes me want to read the whole thing!

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Thanks Nancy, that's a great post. I'm going to explore the trail of links it leads me to. Creative non-fiction as a source of ESP writing is something I've been interested in for a while.