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ERIC Number: ED346494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Dialogic Approach to the Composing Process: Table Talk and the Romantic Essay.
Haefner, Joel
Many compositionists correctly charge Romanticism with conveying the iconography of the solitary writer and with embedding that image in modern ideology. There can be little doubt that numerous Romantic texts continue to exalt and signify the concept of the lonely genius and the self-contained text. Romantic masterpieces have contributed to the internalization of the epistemology of the male Romantic poets and its continuing dominance. The notion of the lonely artist is indeed a product of a specific cultural moment, and that historical reality, the Romantic era in England, supports a collaborative approach to writing and knowing that has been buried for decades. The key to that social sphere was conversation, or table talk. Modern compositionists were not the first to valorize conversation as an epistemological and psychological faculty. A few examples of how conversation and collaboration worked in the production of specific texts can be determined, including the relationship of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays, as well as some of William Hazlitt's comments. The famous dinner parties of the "London Magazine" writers were also a fertile environment of collaborative thinking, influencing, for example, Charles Lamb. Lamb frequently wrote drafts of his essays in letters to friends. Ironically, the ideology of the Romantic personal essay, entrenched in current composition pedagogy, was championed by writers like Hazlitt and Lamb who produced their texts largely through conversation and collaboration. (Seventeen references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A