Writing to Learn ZinsserWrite to learn interest rates
As one writes - and thinks - clear about every subject ever of William Zinsser
Humour is the most dangerous form of writing, full of risks; a calling to brighten the readers' days is an act of constant galantry. There is a Spanish for a man who loves to snooze around - a picaflower - who creates the evocative picture of a honeybee going from bloom to bloom.
Apart from celebrity, we still pay tribute to the generalist with our concept of "Renaissance man", and the epitome of Renaissance man was of course Leonardo da Vinci. I was reading a collection of Leonardo's books last year in the hope of finding out how a man could address so many different issues. Maybe I could use writing like Leonardo did when he sketched?
I soon found out that Zinsser, the writing guardian, already had a volume about it. It was not a particularly attractive thought to study another Zinsser-Buch. I' d already finished up with his famous On Writing Well and got off with a bitter flavour in my lips. If I wanted to be the next Leonardo, I had to eat some cucumbers.
I purchased this product in a dutily manner; and, aft due deliberation in equal measure, I am location to archer you active it. All good writers have what I call a "literary personality" - associated with their true personalities, but not the same - and I just don't like those of Zinsser. Interester wants you to believe that clear writing is one of the most challenging, risky and tasteless activity in the game.
A good writer is a saint, many of them a martyr, among them Zinsser himself: "Zinsser makes it clear that his calling is a valiant one, especially since he not only wrote himself, but also taught: Then why would someone in their right minds want to become a writing schoolteacher? Well, the reply is that typing instructors are out of their minds.
Sincere boldness (to use a courteous word) is needed for a writing instructor to be comparable to a nursing school. Although I put my own aversion aside, I have to say that this volume is a disappointment. Beginning with an unnecessarily autobiographic part about Zinssers pedagogy. Considering how much interest people like to speak about leaving out unneeded materials, I found this particularly ironical.
Throughout the remainder of the volume are long extracts of what Zinsser regards as good practice in writing in various disciplines, from humanities to science, from geometry to math. It could have been and should have been an Anthologie. Much of what I wanted from this work is missing.
Interester avoided the methodological issue by stressing that good writing is learnt through mimicry. That' s undoubtedly largely correct; nevertheless I found it an abandonment of the promises of this book: to give the would-be autodidacts a writing style or at least a few hints to learn.
A further serious oversight is that Zinsser does not give specific counsel to educators who want to put this policy into practice in their teaching. A number of reports have been given by some of the professors who have done so, and there are many cautionary paragraphs about the advantages of "writing beyond the curriculum", but very little about specific policies to implement this notion.
When I was a pupil and schoolteacher, I found that annoying. Nevertheless, I assume this volume has its value as a bit of propound. Interester is thrilled with writing and his excitement is infectious. If you are sceptical that any discipline - even science, mathematics or mathematics - can be well credited, or if you are not sure if writing can help you to think and learn, you will find these questions adressed.
With all its mistakes, this guide offers an insight into a convincing education ideal: one that allows us all to be Pikaflores with a clear conscience. 2.