Question, for English 1a AND English 5

23 Aug

Don’t the greatest writers have separatism in their sentences?  I don’t mean simply ‘rebellion’, but surely a break from what is acceptable, or expected?  Why else then would be so unparalleled, towering.. truly transcending?

Writers like Poe, Capote, Plath, Hemingway, Kerouac, didn’t mind if they brushed with rejection.  They more than likely expected it.  And the reality that they’re still so widely studied, followed today can only pull from us ultimate awe.

So, is separatism necessary, in some form, if one hopes to “last” as a writer?  And if not, what, in your mind, is required of a writer’s work in order to stay relevant?


9 Responses to “Question, for English 1a AND English 5”

  1. Lila C. Sisk-Popow August 24, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    What would be the point of reading something if it’s the same as something you’ve already read? Take for example, watching a TV show, movie, or live theater. Life, literature, and art would be mind-numbingly dull if it weren’t for separatism. Novels, films, music, etc. that provoke an emotional response are what’s sought after. True, that we (humans) are considered pack, or group, beings, it still stands that no two people will have the exact same thought or reaction to a singular thing. I feel as though these writers you listed would have been so spiritless if they didn’t entertain the thought “some people might think this is garbage and that’s OK” and thought everyone would welcome their work with open arms. Sure, in a perfect world.. Furthermore, these individuals probably would’ve been bored to death by themselves if they had stayed in their proverbial boxes! Monotony is what kills the creative brain. To stand out, to “transcend”, I agree(?) whole-heartedly, that separatism is required to last as a writer.

  2. mikemadigan August 26, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    Thoughts appreciated, Lila! Like your line, “Monotony is what kills the creative brain.” Nurture your energy, keep bringing it to class!

  3. Hunter Moore August 26, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    separatism in a way is proof of these authors inherit greatness. Their creativity and imagination gives them the lens to see not simply the world as it is, but how it could be. its their “separatism that gives their work the voice to heard against the cacophony of all the others (writers, and artist in all fields). I like what Lila said about their art standing out bur i also believe their separatism is not only the disharmony we hear and find in their works but also the proof of authenticity. This is their honest minds view of the world with all its imperfection (what say we take for granted) and create microcosms around it, worlds where they may play up these flaws and make them the central pillar of the their stories, or do them away and create perfection or at least their idea of perfection in place of the world’s flaws. I think that is one of the things that makes a great author and a great stories teller. I think Faulkner is the sort of author whom finds these flaws and brings them to light, not write them away.

  4. mikemadigan August 26, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    Thank you, Mr. Hunter.. I like your final line, of ‘not writing them away’. Could you elaborate on that?

  5. Hunter Moore August 26, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    Faulkner’s writing isn’t afraid to explore angle of life that many of the rest of us wouldn’t. He knows whats wrong with our world, i think a lot of that comes from how the world has changed in his life time (1897-1962). Lots of people get enveloped with the “fast new world”. I think a lot of people have in themselves more vision and ability than they give themselves credit for, what they don’t have is the same “separatism” that say Faulkner had. They would rather “write off” the imperfection they encounter rather than protest it. Lots of people don’t want to find themselves on the wrong side of society, estranged from the conformity. I think at some point Faulkner found he was on this other side away from the masses, and here he found his voice and his stories. He doesn’t except the world because he “has to to fit in” and he isn’t simply rebelling, He is composing a story using all the elements of his world, including that darker more frightening elements that are all so very real too.

  6. Lila C. Sisk-Popow August 26, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Hunter..Love this. “separatism is not only the disharmony we hear and find in their works but also the proof of authenticity. “

  7. Rebecca Ashlock August 27, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    I’m going to tie this back into the Capote interview we discussed in class. “Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself”. No writer should simply linger to what is told of them, hold their tongue when they feel judged. After all, I credit regulation to ourselves. Make your own criteria. I agree with Lila. Separatism stops the mundane and aids in the evolution of literature. Without it, words music sentences paragraphs books art movies feel lifeless after continuous reiteration.

  8. Jessika Jacques August 27, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    I (Jessika Jacques) believe that separatism is necessary for authors who want to “last”. Without separatism writers would produce pieces of literature with the same concepts and that would be rather boring. If Faulkner was afraid to write about topics that were happening in society because of the fact people may negatively judge his work, his writing would not be as great as it is. I think his writing would be somewhat lifeless.

  9. Will Hearrell August 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Separatism sure helps a writer stand out from the other writers, but as far as being required to last? I’m not so sure. Then again, how separate from other writers are we talking? In what ways? Diction? Style? Content? Message? All of the above? How long are we lasting? Talking centuries or decades?

    For example, I think Stephen King is a great writer that is very popular yet not so separate than other writers. He tends to write pretty creative stories but most of them are suspense or horror, and while there may be new imagery and weirdness in his novels many of them aren’t much different than the typical horror movies people go out to see all the time.

    In all honesty, I think these writers Mike mentioned are great, but I don’t think people should get stuck on them. If you only read Poe, Capote, Plath, Hemingway, and Kerouac, you’re going to be biased against other writers. Don’t ignore the mainstream because you don’t want to be a sheep. Just don’t go ‘BAAAAAA’ and you’ll see, getting the best of both worlds is far better than picking white or black.

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