Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"The Dark Art of Description"

In Patricia Hampl's The Dark Art of Description, she writes about how to use description in writing to create your own style. Hampl's purpose in writing this essay is to show the importance of word choice and how description can make all the difference in any piece of writing. Specifically, Hampl states that description allows you to "glimpse the individual consciensness, the creator of the scene" (47). The creator of the scene being the author. Their consciensness is expressed through description allowing the reader to imagine the picture that the author is imagining. Hampl argues that description is the author's voice, drawing in the reader, and can make any story interesting. This is the point of the last paragraphs about one of her students. The student comes to her saying that he has nothing to write about because he came from a small town where nothing interesting happens. She replies by saying, "The field's wide open. Nobody has told what it's like to grow up in Fridley yet" (51). Hampl is trying to prove that you can write about anything and make it interesting. The student thought that his life was boring, but simply using description he could explain new concepts and make the topic interesting to the reader. Hampl uses this to prove that description is vital, and can be used in any circumstance to add voice to a piece of writing and draw in the reader.

1 comment:

  1. Way to use quotes. Rachel will love that. And it is probably a good idea.

    I totally agree with you and think that you used evidence to strengthen your argument that was more or less rock solid to begin with. So what the heck am I supposed to say? I want to get full credit, but you said it all. So I shall ramble in hopes of receiving high marks, because there really is nothing else to say.

    This isn't the same sort of thing as Fridley. I can't really describe the crap out of this and make it seem interesting. Perhaps I could say that would be the hole in her argument. There are things out there that cannot be fixed with a tablespoon of description and teaspoon of word choice. See, I just made it sound like a recipe, and now I feel like a moron.

    It is ridiculous to me that she wasted her time writing 9 pages on how decription makes a story something more. I know that. We all do.