Sunday, May 12, 2013

Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction

Dear Gentle Readers~

Several years ago, I wrote an essay called "Daylight Savings Time" and it was published in the third anthology edited by Judith Kitchen called Short Takes, Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction.

In the past two months, I saw a lot of searches for this essay, and some of those seeking answers must have stopped by here.   But, a week or so ago, I looked back and found all of them.  There was a creative nonfiction class at Ohio University that assigned this text and had the students maintain response blogs.

Here's an example from Elinor Addison James.  Her blog: Not Harmful If Ingested: Short Takes:

"Analysis of "Daylight Savings Time"

 In this essay Iuppa describes the action and setting of six different fragments to paint an entire one day/scene of two individuals' journey in a 1968 Volkswagon bus in October. Her writing style and organization of the breaks seems very poetic and lyrical. Each paragraph represents a little chunk of the scene, yet stands by itself like the stanza of a poem. Her diction and variation of sentences are beautiful and capture the pace of the memory and/or action of each fragment. For example, in the first paragraph, there is: "Air pungent and sharp with its smells of wet leaves and earth and distant chimney smoke is loaded with melancholy, just lingering to be breathed in and set loose in a sudden gush, a thought of someone not quite forgotten, someone whose embrace felt dangerous and ticklish like electricity, like power surge before blackout." Although rather lengthy, this is a beautiful sentence with all the descriptions, power, flow . . . Still captures this same meaning in her short sentences, like in her last fragment, "There is always one. One left to know this. One left to keep quiet." She speaks of loss and the memory of the person that she is addressing throughout the story as "you." Altogether the writing style and organization embodies this memory and sense loss in a beautiful and break-taking yet sorrowful way."

I was impressed by all of the students' efforts; their voices"heard" in a public space.  Kudos to the professor at Ohio University for this project. Found Miss Elinor 's blog first and responded to her entry.  I do hope she continues using the blog beyond her class obligation.  I like the idea of mini reviews.  Certainly, the practice
hones critical writing and reading skills.

 Lastly, I am honored and  thrilled that these students selected my work to respond to in their course work.  The essay isn't easy, yet they found the essence of what was and wasn't being said about love.

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