Saturday, April 2, 2011

Is there a difference between writer and story?

My dad stole "The Things They Carried" from me and so I can't quote word for word the quote I want to use. My favorite line in the book goes something like this: You get your material where you find it. My understanding of that line is that writers can only write about what they understand or know. They can only write about the way they see things or at least the way they think they see things. I was handed my test this week and Dr. Westover (sorry if this is too formal, but I use this out of respect) had written a comment that I keep going back too. On the test I wrote a paragraph about how "The Dumb Man" and "Story" where similar in that they talk about the struggles that the authors have in saying what they want to say. I referred to the speaker and narrator of the poems as is they were the same as the author. Dr. Westover made the comment that they are not the same, and that they actually did say what they wanted to say. I'm not disagreeing with him at all! I am pointing out that I am struggling to separate the author from his or her writings because I know that they can only write about what they know and understand. When I write, I can only write something good when I know what I am writing about. Maybe in a research paper I might be able to distinguish between the author and what is written, but even then wouldn't the writer of a research paper be convinced through research of what he is writing about to the point of believing what he writes? In the type of books we have been reading I believe there are very few differences between writers and the characters they are writing about. The characters are so detailed that they are very believable and very real to me. I can't help but feel like the writers are not just trying to write in an awesome writing style but also putting some of themselves into the characters. I am really having a hard time writing out what I am trying to say. One thing I have learned in this class is that whether I talk or write, someone is not hearing or understanding me the way I want them to. This reminds me of two poems we read and ironially they are "The Dumb Man" and "Story".

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