One of the assignments for this month from my Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop Year Long class, was to read three essays to look at the craft tools used in presenting ideas.
First, I read “The Futurist Manifesto by Flippo Tommaso Marinetti. For the class assignment, we were not supposed to say whether we like a piece or not but rather, look at the craft elements used in the writing and determine if they would be valuable for our own writing. However, this is is my blog, so I will say that I hated this essay. The language was over wrought, hyperbolic and flowery. I would not want to write in that style. The piece felt dated with racist and misogynistic elements and I had a strong suspicion that the author was a fascist. When I Googled him, I found out I was right.
Our teacher implied that Verlyn Klinkenborg’s, “Our Vanishing Light”, had lyrical tone, and visual and sensory imagery. The writing was okay but it seemed a fairly standard journalistic article. Written in 2008, it might have been startling then but felt like nothing new thirteen years later.
In “Sick Women Theory”, Johanna Hedva uses her personal story to make her point. I thought that was a good strategy or tool to use. By personalizing her ideas, it made thinking about those ideas more accessible. Hedva weaves her story of chronic illness into a compelling critique of western medicine. She explores how disability interacts with political participation, seeking a redefinition of both public and private. I found her writing the most compelling of the three essays and I enjoyed reading it.