Download Authors on Writing: Metaphors and Intellectual Labor by Barbara Tomlinson PDF

By Barbara Tomlinson

Via an unique approach to analyzing metaphorical tales, Tomlinson argues that writing is either someone task and a collective perform, a solitary job that relies on wealthy, sustained, and complicated social networks, associations, and ideology. This new publication attracts upon interviews with writers together with: Seamus Heaney, Roald Dahl, Samuel Beckett, Bret Easton Ellis, John Fowles, Allen Ginsberg, Alice Walker and Gore Vidal.

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In fact, it appears that using metaphors for composing can subvert the ideal of precise structure desired by both interviewer and writer by pretending to satisfy it, without, in fact, quite doing so. Though the metaphors do supply explanatory power and coherence, they do so only by extending the structure of another domain to composing. Powerful as it is, the structure providing explanatory strength is that of the source domain. People accept as coherent even stories that make no attempt to be, as when Frederick Manfred says that an “‘Old Goat,’ is really boss of everything” (1974, p.

Investigation of students’ composing processes often goes astray by seeking to establish the nature of “normal” or alternatively “novice” writing processes. Such categories appear to bring organization to the chaos of individual writing experiences, but not without consequences. These category labels themselves consist largely of metaphors for composing, each framing composition according to its own structure. For example, studying composing through speaking-aloud protocols is often criticized as interfering with writers’ normal writing processes that are assumed to be silent and unobservable.

The discursive subject redefines agency in a way that explodes the boundaries imposed by the constituting/constituted dichotomy. It does not entail reference to a prediscursive “I” but, instead, entails that subjects find agency within the discursive spaces open to them in their particular historical period. The perspective offered by the discursive subject suggests that it is not the case that Descartes discovered the “truth” about human subjectivity and its agentic potential, but, rather, that the agency that is the hallmark of the Cartesian subject is created by the discourse of that subject, that is, that it enables those who employ it to speak as agents.

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