Mueller has suggested Karen Kopelson’s “Sp(l)itting Images; or, Back to the Future of (Rhetoric and?) Composition” (CCC 59.4) for blog discussion next week, so I started kinda sorta reading the article yesterday and got stuck in paragraph 4.
I need to go back and read Pat Bizzaro‘s ”What I Learned in Grad School” (CCC 50.4 June 1999) to get beyond this. I remember Pat telling me about a book that wrote the beginning narrative of Comp as coming out of Creative Writing (something about an elephant?), but obviously I don’t remember the name of it*.
My main observation at this point is that these narratives seem to trace the theory-practice split TO THE BEGINNING of big-C Comp: Creative Writers were already “professional teachers of writing”; it seems only to be that these guys were NOT already writers that made them think they’d had a “eureka” moment. If that’s true, then from its beginnings, Comp was about how to teach writing as a response to a school assignment and then how to theorize that teaching in quantitative ways. Both of those ideas give me an “ick” and a double “ick.”
Of course, I come out of Creative Writing and then Rhetoric (and Classical Language Studies), so Comp for me has always been split, just never from Literature.
Clancy has already posted about her personal history in response, so maybe I’ll do that soon. Maybe I’ll just try to get to paragraph 5.
Back to dissertating today tho.
If anyone wants to read the article in a collaborative comment fashion, email me or comment below and I’ll send you the link and password to where I have the article in a protected CommentPress format WP blog where I personally am thinking through it.