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nonfiction syllabus

mkarol's picture

For the remainder of the semester I think that we should look at different "types" of non fiction, to see how and if they differ:


A. Biography or Memoir - one in a format other than the graphic novel we read, as a sort of comparison

   - Portrait of a Marriage by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson: biography/autobiography about the author's mother. chapters go back and forth between being from the mother's diary/letters she wrote to her son's take on her life and the secrets of her sexuality. it contrasts two different views on the same life... which one would be the "real" non fiction? 


B. creative non fiction - can or should non fiction be creative? 

   - Ultimate Blogs edited by Sarah Boxer: a compilation of blogs put together by the "author" (comparable to what David Shields did?). "attempts to impose some kind of fixed order on a form that generally relies on the satisfaction of timely     updates" (via review)

   - A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut: made up of essays, a poem, and a note from the author. it includes artwork... "Each  topic, and its accompanying artwork, provides a platform from which to begin an excursion through other realms. The lesson on creative writing, for example, is illustrated with drawings and verbal descriptions of where stories begin and where they go." Questions what is an essay?

C. history

   - Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations by the Library of Congress: (on sale for $16 on amazon right now) "magnificent, lavishly bound collection of more than two hundred maps from around the world and throughout time. The maps within chart all matter of terrain - symbolic, spiritual, political, and physical. Mainly through pictoral content, but also through accompanying text, Cartographia explores explres the world, its history, and its culture via the map"


D. science writing - an obvious source of nonfiction?

   - You Are Here by Colin Ellard: a questioning of why modern human, "with out big brains and technological advances, seem to be comparatively inept at navigating throughout our world"



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