Kazuo Ishiguro, Nobel Lecture (video)
Tracey Thorn, Selected chapters from Naked at the Albert Hall: The Inside Story of Singing
Karen Tongson, “Whiteness and Promises” (from Why Karen Carpenter Matters)
Blog 1: Post video or audio of a singer of your choice, and write about some ways that singer’s voice makes meaning.
Charles Bernstein, “Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word”
Peter Elbow, “What Do We Mean When We Talk about Voice in Texts?”
Shankar Vedantam, Hidden Brain: “Finding Your Voice: The Way Sound Shapes Our Identities” (35 minutes)
James Baldwin, 1979 UC Berkley Speech (27 minutes)
Assignment: Bring to class a recording of somebody’s actual voice—a writer, radio personality, public figure, or a friend or family member (if you have permission). Be prepared to write about the voice you choose.
Blog 2: Explore at least one gap and one link between voice and identity.
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Carl H. Klaus, “Continuity / Discontinuity,” “Little Words,” “Nouns and Verbs vs. Adjectives and Verbs”
Blog 3: Option 1: How does Baldwin use pronouns (or other parts of speech) to play with the relationship between him and his audiences in My Dungeon Shook? Option 2: Examine a passage in which Baldwin uses adjectives for particular effects. Option 3: How does Baldwin handle continuity and discontinuity?
Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook”
Amanda Yates Garcia, “In Order to Write, I Had to Break a Family Curse”
Blog 4: Write the script for a panel discussion featuring Woolf, Didion, and Garcia. (If you want, you can substitute one or even two of them for other writers.) Give the panel a name and decide whether it’s a stand-alone event or part of a larger event.
Babitz, “Bakersfield”, from Slow Days, Fast Company
Spektor, Introduction to Babitz’s Slow Days, Fast Company
Hopper, “Dear Octopus”
Carl Klaus, “Concrete and Abstract Diction”
Blog 5: Following Babitz’s lead, write a couple of paragraphs describing your relationship to a particular place—considering what your voice does to this place when you enter with it.
Machado, Selected chapters from In the Dream House: “Dream House as Perpetual Motion Machine,” “Dream House as Exercise in Point of View,” “Dream House as Inciting Incident,” “Dream House as a Stranger Comes to Town,” “Dream House as Time Travel,” “Dream House as Lesbian Cult Classic,” “Dream House as Famous Last Words,” “Dream House as Queer Villainy”
Klaus, “Sentence Structure,” “Parallelism,” “Balance,” “Periodic Sentences”
Blog 6: Choose any topic and write about it in one of Machado’s genres, crafting a voice that works with this genre.
Joe Brainard, I Remember
Klaus, “Persona and Performance”
Blog 7: Option 1: Write your own “I Remember” list (in your own voice or mimicking another writer’s); Option 2: Consider Brainard’s book in realation to one of our other readings.
Ellen Forney, Marbles
Blog 8: Option 1: Draw a feeling (and try not to worry about how good you are at drawing); Option 2: Reflect on Forney’s “visual voice”–and techniques she uses to craft it.
Krog, Mpolweni, Ratele, There Was This Goat
Klaus, “Content, Purpose, and Persona” & “Quotations”
Blog 9: Consider some ethical considerations of writing about other people. How does voice inflect these questions?