Mar 31, 2009

students are brilliant

Yesterday, in the middle of a discussion of "you," specifically as it pertains to narrative fiction (and more specifically in The Death of Artemio Cruz) one of my students referred to the pronoun as "the unanimous person." We had just written full-page pieces directly addressing "you," and shared snippets from each one, reading around a circle, creating an instant poetic tapestry similar to those found in Fuentes' masterpiece. Afterward, reflecting on the process, the student let slip the phrase.

It might have seemed like an error to some--substitute "anonymous"--but in the context of the discussion, it made perfect sense. Intuition tells us, and research confirms, that narrative focused on "you" can be strangely compelling. Its multiplicity, its simultaneous singularity and generality, make it both universal and personal. The mirror of the Whitmanic I. The "unanimous person."

I am still jealous. That is positively brilliant.

1 comment:

Joe said...

I wish I had teachers half as interested as you in their students. High school in Oklahoma is quite like college in Oklahoma - giving every student a reason to leave the state as quickly as finances permit. So, this state remains the armpit of America and everything is running away but the smell.