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Writing as Evolution

ckosarek's picture

 "She's still alive, my invented friend, just as I conceved here, still uncrushed by the need for happier endings.  All writing is rewriting" .... Richard Powers, Generosity, Picador, 2010

What struck me most from this week of class is the last quote that Paul presented, which claims that "all writing is rewriting." Last semester in the Nonfiction Prose class, I posted on narrative theory in psychology, which proposes that we construct our personal stories and that we have the power to write and rewrite our interpretations of our life's events and ourselves as characters. In a sense, both narrative theory and the quote that Paul posted imply that all stories are in a constant state of unfinished-ness, reconstruction, and "evolution". 

I took Teaching to Write (ENGL 220) my second semester at Bryn Mawr, where I was taught that writing is an evolving, nonlinear process, much in the way that scientific experimentation is constantly changing and (as Paul emphasized) also nonlinear. I think in a very real way, literature and science evolve according to narrative theory in that neither is ever finished, neither will ever be finished, both are constantly disassembled, reassembled, and reconsidered to form a "new narrative" that seems to fit some current societal or personal demand. As knowledge grows, culture changes, and people change, it is necessary that scientific and literary narratives adjust or evolve so as to fit the new demands of society. 

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