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ERIC Number: ED448461
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Anxiety of Influence and the Influence of Anxiety.
Kountz, Carol
A composition researcher collected stories from students with writing anxiety, using qualitative research tools of interview and interpretation. In literary theory it is not unusual to speak of anxiety of influence when referring to the torment of proving one is equal to a revered author. The critic Harold Bloom presented it as his theory of the anxiety of influence, the title of his 1973 book that became the first of four to explore rivalry among successive generations of authors. Teachers should de-sanctify texts by encouraging discussion of the assumptions that underlie them and the reception of readers and critics over time. The writing workshop can encourage participants to listen for craft in the work under discussion and to feel empathy for the student author. Open-ended, conversational interviews with two students illustrate how anxiety about writing takes different forms with different people. Writing from the anxious pens of "Donna" and "Lewis" finds fresh insight through strongly felt emotion, either compassion or anger. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A