NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED346485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Glamour and Spelling: Reclaiming Magical Thinking in the Composition Classroom.
Wagner, Julia
It is a good thing to demolish "magical thinking" if it refers to the view of language for which words have fixed, inevitable meanings. Words are often deprived of their meanings and reduced to verbal noises, producing involuntary responses like knee-reflexes. Various critics have discussed and written about the magical aspects of language, including the hold that the oppressor has on the oppressed through language. On the other hand, true magic consists of those rare moments when to speak, to know, and to beget-create are one. The evolution of the words "glamour" and "spelling" indicates the attempt to manage the inherent tension in language between logic and magic by cutting the two tendencies off from one another. (Two of the meanings of "spelling"--casting spells and ciphering letters--are etymologically related and "glamour," a magic spell or bewitchment, is related to "grammar.") Class assignments (such as asking students to dismantle a word, write about it, and create a new word; or having students make and wear masks representing themselves as students next assume another mask and character most opposite to their own and then change their writing in response to what they learned) can produce small instances of magic. In short, writing instructors should attempt to bring about the wonder, inspiration, and trance that all writers have experienced moments of, a psychic outbrust that may be called magic as illustrated in the anecdotes about Rebecca Cox Jackson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman with which this paper begins. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A