Saturday, April 22, 2023

Possible features of excellent texts that we discussed in the 111 Words class yesterday

A student who read my text from yesterday evening sent me the list of points from our discussion of excllent texts in class yesterday morning. These features are not necessary to all excellent texts, but they did come up in at least one of the seven texts we looked at, and many came up in several: a clear message or purpose; rhetorical devices and figures; strong last sentences; memorability and resonance; rhythm; tension; variations on themes; vividness and immediacy, often grounded in specificity; word play and comedy; layout; defamiliarization or enstrangement à la Viktor Shklovsky; constraints (including the 111-word constraint); and the effect of seeming to be a train of thought. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 22 April 2023)

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