Tuesday, September 30, 2008

THE HEMINGWAY / FAULKNER DEBATES



If we are to believe Bloom (see handout), evaluation is the highest level of critical thinking.


I propose a simple question:


Who is the better writer, Faulkner or Hemingway?


You have joined a team of literary lawyers. You will need to divvy up the roles and responsibilities and present the following in class on Thursday:


Schedule:

  • Opening Statements: A list of grievances about the “other” writer. In fact, let’s model it (in our best legalize) after that famous list of grievances, The Declaration of Independence, and begin each objection with “Whereas…” If properly done, these should sting, be visceral and crisp. (5 minutes max, recommended one-two people.)
  • Argument #1: Explain, specifically relating to style, what makes your client a “better” writer. Explain what he does, read what he does, and explain why it works so well. (5 minutes max, recommended one-two people.)
  • Argument #2: Explain, specifically relating to style, what makes your opponents’ client a “worse” writer. Explain what he does, read what he does, and explain why it is not as effective as a style. (5 minutes max, recommended one-two people.)
  • Argument #3: Using a different example, explain, specifically relating to style, what makes your client a “better” writer. Explain what he does, read what he does, and explain why it works so well. (5 minutes max, recommended one-two people.)


Break for the Day, return Friday.


  • Counter Argument Team & Closing Arguments: You have the opportunity to refute the claims made against your client from the Opening Statements and Argument #2. In order to do this effectively, you will need to make predictions and take good notes for counter arguments. (5 minutes max, recommended two-three people.)


Please use this comment stream to post your work (after the debates)—you don’t want to show your hands before the arguments.

1 comment:

Mary N. said...

Faulkner vs. Hemingway
The Many Grievances of Hemingway


1. Whereas Faulkner achieves a high level of details through strong symbols, great imagery, and setting, Hemingway settles to be vague by leaving everything open-ended.


2. Whereas Faulkner represents a handsome and a sophisticated writer, Hemingway resembles that of an alcoholic, an unattractive, shadow of a man.


3. Whereas Faulkner provides newness and excitement for the audience by writing "sentences in a way a circus acrobat pedals a bicycle on a high wire: rapidly, so as not to fall off," Hemingway's sentences are incredibly short and simple in construction. Perhaps his goal is to soothe his readers to sleep. (157).


4. Whereas Faulkner dares to venture into a conflict and into a resolution, Hemingway hangs his readers out to dry since he always backs out of an argument.


5. Whereas Faulkner writes beautifully and descriptively in each story, Hemingway repeats himself constantly in the form of a dialogue. Is he that lazy, that uncreative, and that unskilled to never come up with anything new to say?


6. Whereas Faulkner isn't afraid to address societal issue, such as the solitary nonconformist Emily Rose, Hemingway beats around the bushes like a coward on the topic of abortion because it is so controversial. Not everybody can handle a controversial debate, and Hemingway proves that he is one of those few who can’t.


7. Whereas Faulkner explores different settings in his stories for originality, Hemingway writes of drinking alcohol in a bar each time. What did you expect from someone who wrote of being in Spain at a bar, pressing a pregnant "GIRL" to abortion?


8. Whereas Faulkner writes of societal issues that all can relate to, Hemingway writes of "nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada" (161).


Need we say more?