Literary journalism is a form of creative nonfiction that combines factual reporting with narrative technique – personal interiority, descriptive details, plot designs, subjectivity–not traditionally associated with traditional journalism. It comes out of the new journalism movement of the 60’s and 70’s, where, rather than the writer being “invisible” and just reporting the facts, the writer might embed themselves in the story, through voice, or actually taking part in the activities reported on. Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote and Joan Didion were some of the writers who came out of that movement.
To get started, read one of the two essays below. The links here are from their original sources, Spin magazine and The New Yorker.
The first is by Jonathan Ames, and recounts his attendance at Gothic Fest: https://www.spin.com/2015/10/gothicfest-2005-feature-jonathan-ames/
The next essay is by Roxane Gay. It’s about competitive scrabble. Riveting, right? But check it out:
In your post below:
- Respond: Let us know first which essay you chose. Then, comment on how effective you think the writer is at making us interested in a topic that we might not be otherwise? In what ways do these authors include themselves in the story? Does their role make it more interesting? Why?
- Exercise. This exercise is to get you thinking about your Essay #3. First of all, find a local event that you would like to attend. I often suggest students find something outside of their own comfort zone, something they wouldn’t normally go to, as is the case with Jonathan Ames. But it’s perfectly fine to report on something you’re already deeply involved in, as is the case with Roxane Gay. Then, write at least a paragraph about what you expect the experience to be like. It will be interesting to then compare this to the actual event you attend.
You can put both of these in the same post, but make sure you label them – or even just a skip a line between them–to help me distinguish.
Due by Thursday, March 5 by 5:00 PM
Have a great Spring Break!!