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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Image of Yourself As Writer


Following up a theme I've developed here recently, I'd like you to visualize your image of yourself as a writer.

Roland Barthes talks about André Gide and the image of the writer, a kind of conventionalized topos that, according to Barthes, was a little old-fashioned: he couldn't imagine a young kid wanting to grow up and emulate Gide. If you look at Woody Allen's recent picture "Midnight in Paris," you see a kind of image-repertoire of the writer in cartoonish form.

The point here is that you might carry in your mind a stereotype that doesn't correspond to your own identity. You might not have a tweed jacket with elbow patches, or be able to picture yourself in one. I certainly couldn't. You have to imagine yourself as a writer, and that might entail a revision of your image of what a writer looks like.

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