To become a writer, one must learn to see the world strangely. To notice, for example, how an electrical outlet looks like a little surprised face. Or to pause when eating cereal and really experience it… really recognize each nuance of each crunch. The idea is that if we not only observe the world in all its oddness, but become enamored with it, our words will convey and convince. This course is about deeply engaging with our extraordinary surroundings. We’ll read three books that arise from strangeness and result in beauty. We’ll also read a smattering of smaller texts, via a coursepack. All of it will aid in our conversations and writing. In addition to the usual formal papers, the class will be sprinkled with writing experiments. By the end of it, we’ll have a sense of what makes for successful writing, both in general, and as tailored to your individual writing skills. Further, we’ll have a skillset of transferable writing tools that you can take wherever you go. So be ready to write, be ready to analyze, and be ready to see the world strangely.
Texts: Reunion by Alan Lightman, Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut, and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Expectations: approx. 30 pages of polished prose, intense revisions, engaged and thoughtful [daily] discussion