This Question of Audience, Part Two

Part One may be found here.

Writer-focused audience theories position the writer center stage in both the writer-audience relationship and in the creative process.  Indeed, it is to the writer’s shapely role that most literary critics’ eyes inevitably rove. Continue reading “This Question of Audience, Part Two”

This Question of Audience, Part One

Theories about the audience’s role in the writer-audience relationship show up as pale shadows tacked on the heels of inquiries into the writer’s purpose and product.  I can’t help but wonder what that means. Is the audience’s role really fully subordinate to the role of the creative writer, or have we merely overlooked characteristics of audience that point us toward livelier models of the writer/audience relationship?  Is the Internet altering the role of audience? Does a writer even really need an audience? Well, let’s poke around a bit and see what we turn up …   

Presently, I’m teaching basic reading and composition classes at a local community college.  All of my students are Native Americans.  When I tell them to consider their audience as they compose their essays, I know I’m putting them on the spot. Continue reading “This Question of Audience, Part One”

Interview With Patricia Wiles, Part Two

In Part One, Patricia Wiles answered questions from A Motley Vision.  In this segment of the interview, Patricia fields questions from two admiring fans.  Saul, age 16, is interested in herpetology and is an aspiring writer himself.  Val, age 9, wants to be a naturalist when she grows up but has also begun writing stories.  Both kids enjoyed Patricia Wiles’s Kevin Kirk series tremendously and were excited to have an opportunity to ask her questions about her storylines, writing techniques, and … a few other things. Continue reading “Interview With Patricia Wiles, Part Two”

Interview With Patricia Wiles, Part One

Patricia Wiles is the author of three novels for young adults: My Mom’s a Mortician (2004 Covenant Communications), Funeral Home Evenings (2005 Covenant Communications), and Early Morning Cemetery (2006 Covenant Communications).  My Mom’s a Mortician and Funeral Home Evenings won the Association for Mormon Letters’s Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Continue reading “Interview With Patricia Wiles, Part One”

Mormon Lit: Heaven Knows Why

Jackson Whitetop, a no-account loafer, lives alone in the home that his grandfather Moroni built. Moroni is no longer with us, but he has a good job in the Compiling Office of the Accounting Section of the Current History Division of the Records Department. After several requests, Moroni gets clearance to pay Jackson a visit to deliver a message from beyond: Continue reading “Mormon Lit: Heaven Knows Why”

Mormon Lit: Who Was Samuel W. Taylor?

Samuel Wooley Taylor (1907-1997) was a grandson of John Taylor (the third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and one of thirty-six children of John Whittaker Taylor (an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). In the taxonomy of Mormon authors, Continue reading “Mormon Lit: Who Was Samuel W. Taylor?”

Criticism: The Importance of Being Ironic, Part One

In my opinion irony is a much and unreasonably maligned concept. Associating irony with offensive or subversive intent some relegate it to outer rhetorical darkness. This is especially true in some religious circles where irony is looked upon as being dangerous to steadfast belief. But is learning to identify and engage irony in fact more useful and needful than we might suspect? Could attempting to devalue or deny its power in fact create, escalate, or confirm the very ironic tensions we’re trying to avoid? In this multiple-part post I explore the power of irony and its potential artistic and spiritual value to people of all stripes. Note: Footnotes will appear at the end of the last post in the series, then I’ll put in links connecting all parts into one footnoted whole.

Williamsburg, Virginia–the maze behind the Governor’s Mansion. I’m in Mrs. Carter’s fourth grade class. Paths run left and right through manicured hedgerows. A guide gathers us at the maze’s entrance and says, “Start by going to your right.” Too young to worry about minotaurs, off we scamper through green corridors to find the maze’s secret center. Continue reading “Criticism: The Importance of Being Ironic, Part One”