The Creating Word: Papers from an International Conference by Patricia Demers

By Patricia Demers

Those papers from "The developing observe" convention on the collage of Alberta glance at once on the demanding situations dealing with English academics within the Nineteen Eighties. 11 striking educators deal with themes of rhetoric, deconstructionism, transactional research, inventive writing, reader-response theories, language arts technique, and laptop expertise.

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Extra resources for The Creating Word: Papers from an International Conference on the Learning and Teaching of English in the 1980s

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I have attended an English class in a good public school where the next assignment was 'to make a dictionary'. Each pupil would choose half a dozen simple words and, after listening carefully to the way family and friends used and pronounced these words, would turn in a scientific lexicographer's entry for each. It should be added that a good many words carry a single meaning all by themselves - for example, cheesecloth, appendicitis, incompatible, and in fact all the words in the dictionary that receive but one definition and are unsuited to figurative use.

Mill's maxim that the opinions of bright people between twenty and thirty years of age are the best index to the intellectual tendencies of the next era, it seems probable that the heritage of deconstruction will be prominent in literary criticism for some time to come. I shall try to locate the deconstructive enterprise on the map of literary theory by sketching its overlap with, as well as its radical departures from traditional treatments ofliterature. It is impossible to do so except from some point of view.

The practical test - does it communicate? - is indeed relevant, at the end. The test varies with the occasion and the audience, but intrinsic rightness does not. Rightness is what satisfies the writer for the sake of his own mind. It makes his thought into an object and confirms his sense of power over language. If the student is not taught to feel that need and that pride, he will be comfortable with the language of Senhor Carolino, which communicates delightfully, though with not one of the qualities that language must have.

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