The Rancidity of the Butter: Big Ideas and Actual Writing

$65.00 Members
$75.00 Non-members

Recalling when she had to make weekly train trips down to Berkeley to fulfill the English department's Milton requirement, Joan Didion couldn't quite recall what she wrote about Milton that summer but what she could recall was "the exact rancidity of the butter" in the train's dining car. Didion is saying she is a writer and not a presenter of big ideas. This craft talk will be dedicated to the question of that tension between what we think (say, political ideas) and what we are looking at (say, the pictures in your mind or, for that matter, the taste of butter). We’ll look at examples from both fiction (Alice Munro, J.M. Coetzee, Toni Morrison) and nonfiction (James Baldwin, Teju Cole, and Didion herself). Brief writing exercises will follow each example and there will be time at the end for questions and a discussion.

Instructor: Amitava Kumar Learn More


Jun 14, 2023 4:00pm - 6:00pm