Thursday, November 12, 2015

What is Writing?

"What is writing? Why does one write? For whom? The fact is, it seems that nobody has ever asked himself these questions." - J.P Sartre

What is writing?

Could you answer that question, if you had to? 

Could you come up with a program of research that could answer it?

Could you assemble a panel discussion of people wide-ranging enough to represent every discipline and approach that would attempt an answer?

Could you come up with a definition that a linguist, a poet, a teacher, a rhetorician, a novelist, a literary critic, a critical theorist, a philosopher, an editor, a journalist, an anthropologist, a computer programmer, a comic book author, a calligrapher, a college student using Yik Yak, a Bible translator, a blind person, a graffiti artist, a three year-old child learning to form the letters of his name, and an MFA professor would agree on?

Would it even be worth it to try?

Why not?

"In short, the study of writing is a major subset of the history of human consciousness, institutions, practice, and development over the last five millenia, and composition--the learning and teaching of writing--is in the middle of all that." - Charles Bazerman

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