Creative Writing Project
- Goal of this assignment:
For this assignment, students will exercise their creative impulses alongside their analytic skills. Students will compose a condensed 500-word imitation or parody of a literary work (covered in this course) geared toward a contemporary modern audience, followed by a short 300-word “review.” It will be posted on the course blog by 9:30am on Wednesday 5/8/19.
Reflecting our overall course objectives, the goal of this assignment is to test Thomas De Quincey’s hypothesis regarding “the literature of power,” which, for him, cannot be reduplicated, imitated, or parodied without losing its force to move readers emotionally. In testing this hypothesis, students will get a feel for the complicated stylistic choices that authors have to make as they engage with a preexisting literary tradition and create something new for their own time. In other words, students will learn about the process by which a writer, in addressing a contemporary audience, becomes a published author.
Compose a short imitation or parody of a novel, short story, play, essay, or poem we’ve read for this course, paying special attention to the form of the original and to the figures and rhetorical devices the author uses. You should not focus on the entire work; focusing on a small part or section of the work will suffice. Your composition should mirror or recreate these formal elements as much as the content, but written for the modern world and its modern readers (your peers, myself, as well as a wider online audience). However, you should also remember that all parodies and imitations pay homage (in a negative or positive way) to an earlier historical and literary moment, and your work should convey the sense of its engagement with another time and place. Because this composition will be posted on our course blog, take into consideration the medium in which your composition will appear; feel free to include images, videos, links, etc. that enhance the form, content, and meaning. Be daring and creative!!!
Afterwards, write a short review (about 300 words) of your work that offers a rationale for the aesthetic choices that you, the author, made in regards to form, content, and medium. Focus on the differences between your imitation and the original text. You can choose to write a traditional review that might appear in a journal, a letter from a friend of the author to the author or to a third party, or even a letter from the author to his or her publisher. Whatever form you use, make sure your review comments specifically on both the formal aspects and message of your parody or imitation.
- Grading and Evaluation Criterion:
Your composition will be evaluated using the following four areas:
- Artistry of writing.
- Experimentation with the form, rhetoric, style, and content of the original text.
- Engagement with an implied modern reader.
- Use of medium.
Compositions that ignore any of these four areas will receive below a C-. The same goes for compositions that are missing a review, or reviews that are missing the composition