By B. Tomlinson
Drawing on a few 3,000 released interviews with modern authors, Authors on Writing: Metaphors and highbrow exertions finds new methods of conceiving of writing as highbrow hard work. Authors' metaphorical tales approximately composing spotlight now not inside worlds yet socially positioned cultures of composing and apparatuses of authorship. via an unique approach to analyzing metaphorical tales, Tomlinson argues that writing is either anyone task and a collective perform, a solitary task that will depend on wealthy, sustained, and complicated social networks, associations, and ideology. This new booklet attracts upon interviews with writers together with: Seamus Heaney, Roald Dahl, Samuel Beckett, Bret Easton Ellis, John Fowles, Allen Ginsburg, Alice Walker and Gore Vidal.
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Extra resources for Authors on Writing: Metaphors and Intellectual Labor
I know about dough, mind you: remember that I make my own bread…. You have to vary things according to your mood, you have to adapt the recipe to the materials at hand. Bread is never made twice in the same way. (1984, p. 185) Writers often turn to metaphorics of embodied labor like this in arguing that the “feel” of their material differs, conveying a sense of the differing shapes, textures, toughness, and malleability of their topics and texts. One result of variation in practices is that many writers, even those who are very experienced, claim that they are not always prepared for new rhetorical problems.
It is far preferable to see cognitive inquiries as approximations than summarily to reject them for their failure to reﬂect adequately other important perspectives such as the social. Rather than mystifying stories, predominant metaphors are summarizing stories, summarizing a myriad of small textual developments and dramatic textual consequences. They represent composing as processes of engagement and entanglement, as a welter of decisions that all impinge on both texts and authors, who, after all, live together.
Sometimes an author will present a brief summary of a day’s activities, but only in the most general terms. But authors do sometimes use metaphors to demonstrate the “perpetual, repetitive, habitual” nature of their work. In Chapter 2, we saw Marguerite Yourcenar contrast the “feel” of different texts—of working in granite or kneading dough. She uses the metaphor of kneading dough to present a picture of on-going, rhythmic, sensuous action. I quote further: There are stages in bread-making quite similar to the stages of writing.
Authors on Writing: Metaphors and Intellectual Labor by B. Tomlinson