By John Gardner

ISBN-10: 0679734031

ISBN-13: 9780679734031

"John Gardner used to be well-known for his generosity to younger writers, and (this e-book) is his . . . reward to them. The paintings of Fiction will fascinate someone attracted to how fiction will get prepare. For the younger author, it's going to turn into an important guide, a stern pass judgement on, an encouraging friend."--The big apple occasions e-book evaluation.

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Additional info for The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

Sample text

And the teaching of writing—initiating the neophytes into a discourse community—suffered accordingly. Because it is tempting to rec ill academia's very different past and hope for a very different future, the term academic community has powerful spiritual and political connotations, but today academia is a discourse community only in a context so broad as to have little meaning in terms of shared linguistic forms, either for the advancement of knowledge (which now goes on in disciplinary communities and subcommunities) or for the initiation of new members (who are initiated into a specific community's 21 THE TRIUMPH OF SPECIALIZATION discourse).

At the same time they could deny (or leave unexamined) the rhetorical nature of their work and thus the responsibility to articulate or systematically teach their discourse. In this way, the peculiar role that writing instruction played in American mass education reinforced the differentiated curricular and institutional structure. The myth of transience is adaptive, for it helps to mediate within the institution the deep value conflicts between equity and excellence, but it does so at the expense of a genuine examination of the ways that writing influences higher learning—and access to the professions which depend on that learning.

Pedagogical methods, particularly after reforms in the 1820s, were justified on the theory of "mental discipline," which the American college borrowed from Scottish faculty psychology and educational practice. The goal of education was to train, through drill and exercise, the various "faculties" of the mind: memory, judgment, will, and so on. Educators saw in the study of classical languages, with their 36 Nineteenth-Century Backgrounds complex but codified structure, the most fitting means of disciplining the mind.

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The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner


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