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<eyebeam><blast> concluding composition

Considerations guiding my participation in the <eyebeam> forum:

        When I attend social gatherings of non-academics, and people
find out what I do for a living, they become wary:  "An English
teacher?  We better  watch our grammar!"  Then they excuse themselves to
go fix another drink.  Or at least such was the case until recently,
when I began teaching web design.  Now my colleagues have lost interest
in what I do, but citizens from other parts of the community are willing
to talk to me.  

        I recall reading that Odysseus eventually became bored, once he
made it home, and wanted to journey again, but not by sea.  He marched
inland, carrying his steering oar upraised, until he came to a place at
which people asked him what he was carrying (or mistook it  for a
winnowing flail).  There he settled down.  (steersman/cybernaut)

        Once the epic recounting Odysseus' tale was written down, a
number of features essential to the oral apparatus (social machine)
became irrelevant to narrative and gradually were abandoned:  memory,
song, episode, improvisation from a repertoire.

        What features of the literate apparatus are similarly losing
functionality within emergent electracy?  Perhaps the next <blast> forum
might explore this  question.  I would say:  
        authorial intention 
        (illocution) is giving way to perlocution (effect at point of 
        reception).  Meaning constructed by receiver as the norm.
        Symptom of lack of fit between literacy/electracy?  
        flame wars.  
        Remedy? write to evoke the widest possible latitude of meaning 
        (choral word).

        argumentation (logical analysis, categorization by concepts) 
        along with essay form. 
        Symptom?  Many readers simply skip long posts carefully argued 
        and developed according to high literacy (logos, demonstratio).
        Remedy? couch the proof in aesthetic form, narrative and
        (enigma and enthymeme) subordinate to image. Mood, atmosphere
        concept as the categorical principle (ontology, metaphysics).

Now the eyes begin to glaze over as the composition teacher drones on. 
A place to begin looking for the electrate "Strunk and White"?  How
about Italo Calvino, __Six Memos For The Next Millennium__ (extended to
online authoring across genres?

        Many thanks to all.  

Greg Ulmer
Electronic Learning Forum

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