Inspiration or Invention: Against Romantic Models of Composing
Foody, Kaelin, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Fountain, T. Kenny, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
Inspiration’s place in the writing process has proved onerous for composition instructors. Critics of the “inspired” model of invention often locate its faults within romantic writing traditions that misconstrue writing as an individualistic, passive, and/or spontaneous process. Romantic approaches to writing were most explicitly formalized in composition studies during the expressivist movement of the 1960’s, a pedagogy thoroughly criticized for its romantic influence. While plenty of critics excavate expressivism’s romantic flaws and lingering repercussions, fewer articulate concrete strategies to help students move beyond this pervasive myth of inspiration. This project closely examines the various pedagogical difficulties of romantic myths of composition, and offers accessible and concrete instructional alternatives to these pervasive assumptions.
MA (Master of Arts)
invention, composition, expressivism