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Literary Voice: The Never-ending Pursuit of Eloquence with Mitchell S. Jackson

One of the most effective ways in prose to, as Susan Sontag says, “preserve the works of the mind against oblivion,” is to craft an eloquent voice. But before one can do that, one must know what is meant by an eloquent voice. In this seminar, we will define literary voice and identify its most prevalent aspects: diction, syntax, acoustics, and visual logic included. As well, we will discuss philosophies on why voice is important. The seminar will also include discussion on the cultural and historical factors involved in shaping a literary voice. It will furthermore cover several rhetorical tools used to compose an eloquent voice. We will read published exemplars to foster a critical discussion of the context, philosophies, and tools presented in the seminar. Finally, we will complete a writing exercise with an eye towards applying the tools discussed.

 
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