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ERIC Number: ED410570
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Composition and Literature: Now We're Talking to One Another.
Winterowd, W. Ross
Problems of "dialect" exist in the field called "English," which is constituted by both composition and literature. The "ghettoization" of composition has created a hostile underclass, and many compositionists try to "pass" as literarists or at least unconsciously adopt the vocabulary and rhetoric of the literarists, in the process deserting and demeaning their native "culture." On the other hand, literarists have no need to speak the language of the compositionists. Hillis Miller, for example, knows that composition-rhetoric is a field rich in theory and scholarship and that it is essential to the humanities in general. In "Nietzsche in Basel: Reading Writing," however, Miller writes a perfectly conventional academic essay urging compositionists to teach "transgressive writing" that breaks out of imposed strictures. Kurt Spellmeyer, in "Common Ground: Dialogue, Understanding, and the Teaching of Composition" attempts to define the "agora" where both literarists and compositionists can amicably set up shop, a sort of English-department mall. The pedagogical goal that Spellmeyer wants to reach is Miller's "dialogical, open-ended essay." But like Miller, Spellmeyer seems to be addressing a caricature of compositionists. Both, however, are doing what comes naturally: Miller speaking from the eminence of a brilliant career in literature and Spellmeyer attempting to "talk the talk" of the establishment. Not wanting to change dialects, many who speak compositionist nonstandard ask their English department colleagues who are speakers of literarist (MLA) standard to grant them their own language and to view that language as a prestige dialect. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A