The Craft of Writing – In fragments: the difficulty of reality
R1A 002 | CCN: 29074
In fragments: the difficulty of reality
Instructor: Liza Michaeli,Jennifer Silver
Location: Dwinelle 209
Date / Time: Tu/Th 3:30pm - 4:59pm
What does it mean—that is, feel like—to be alive? What does it feel like to be exposed, internally, to reality? Wherein lies its essential difficulty? Why would we necessarily have to confront such a difficulty in a course about the rigor of reading and writing? Rigor, this course shall wager, is not removed from the body.
This course will not pretend to take experience as an object for analysis, nor will it practice a descriptive analytic of reality; rather, it will move slowly toward touching the “”lived-through.”” In our attendance to the subtle, hidden contours of our lives, we shall consider: the pain of thinking, reading, and writing; holding, silence, waiting; significance and weight; value and worth; gravity and grief; agony and passion; necessity and intimacy; and the inmost, the innermost, the sensus numinis (the “”sense”” of the ineffable). Together, we will attend to the texture of the word, the grain of the voice, and the beat of the body, considering the tempo at which we feel and move, what it means to be alive, and physically, the effort that it takes.
While our forms will be short, our effort will be long-form and the demand on you, as student and as human, high (this course will not ask you to think “”about”” anything). It is also high for the writers through whom we will encounter what is essentially “”at stake.”” Where the stakes are high, the sentiment cannot be told, it has to be shown. This is as difficult as the most obvious, as saying: “”This is water.””
A (rough) sampling of writers: Roland Barthes, Samuel Beckett, Walter Benjamin, Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, David Foster Wallace, Søren Kierkegaard, Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera, Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Friedrich Nietzsche, Osip Mandelstam, Susan Sontag, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Simone Weil, and Virginia Woolf.