Monday, April 25, 2011

Comics Journalism

Please describe the links, if any, between comics journalism and literary journalism. Is it possible to consider comics journalism a subgenre of literary journalism? Why or why not? You may -- in fact, should -- refer to my essay on Joe Sacco in your response, which should be completed by 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 4.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


What is gonzo? How's the practice or concept related to Hunter S. Thompson? Do you consider yourself a gonzo journalist? Would you like to be one? Why or why not?

Your response is due Sun., April 10, by 4 p.m.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Although written only five years apart and about similar events, the Breslin and Hamill stories feel vastly different. Identify one literary technique that, to your mind, contributes to this different feel and explain how it contributes. You might choose, for example, from point of view, narrative structure, choice of language, and so on. Please be as specific and complete as possible. Your response should be posted by Wednesday, March 30, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alternative Question

Watch the video below. . . Relate it to Herr's Dispatches. . . Response is due this coming Sunday by 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Compare the structure of the pieces by Davis, Orwell, and Herr. What changes do you notice? How are these changes in form related to the changing conception of imperialism and war? To the changing purpose of literary journalism?

Your response is due by 4 p.m., Sunday, March 27.

Monday, March 14, 2011


"I am not commenting, merely pointing to a fact," George Orwell writes toward the end of "Marrakech." Do you believe him? Why or why not?

It'll help you answer the question if you also read this classic essay by Orwell:

Please respond by Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Third Winter

Choose one of the following to answer. Please post your response by Wed., March 9, 4 p.m.

1) Describe the relationship between the straight and parenthetical passages in Martha Gellhorn's "The Third Winter." In other words, what is the function of each and how do they function in relation to each other?

2) Analyze an instance of Gellhorn's use of metaphor or simile. Include why she choose this image and whether or not it works and how or why.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The issue for a writer is how to close the gap, often yawning, between the writer's subject and the reader's experience. Give one example of how Richard Harding Davis creates reader admiration and/or sympathy for Rodriguez in his story. You should cite a specific image, description, etc., rather than make a general statement. Notice, too, how he leads us to feel quite the opposite about the Spaniards.

Please respond by 4 p.m., Sunday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Film Noir

Colin asked for a list of films noir at the end of class yesterday. Here are a few for those who might be interested:


Out of the Past
Blue Dahlia
The Big Sleep
The Big Heat
Raw Deal
Shadow of a Doubt
Bad Day at Black Rock
Force of Evil
The Killers

More Contemporary:

Body Heat
Blood Simple
Miller's Crossing
Blade Runner

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Quote UnQuote

Look over the quotes on writing and writers I handed out last class. Pick the one that resonates the most with you. Comment why (by 4 p.m., Wednesday). Be prepared to discuss your choice in class this Thursday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Morris Markey's literary journalism piece, "Drift," belongs to a genre referred to as "the procedural." To your mind, what characteristics of the piece make it an example of the genre? How does this help with or determine the structure/organization of the piece?

The piece has a noir-ish atmosphere. What is the connection of that atmosphere to the point or theme of the piece?

Remember, we're practicing good writing here, not just literary analysis. Your comments should be crisp and clear. Avoid generalizations, tortured syntax, and muddy language.

Your response is due by four p.m., Sunday, Feb. 6.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


If you wish to answer another question besides the one below, try this: Why does Crane refer to the tramp as the "assassin" in "An Experiment in Misery"? Is the term serious? Sardonic? Metaphorical? Does it say as much about the youth as about the tramp? How so?

Is Stephen Crane's "Man Falls, a Crowd Gathers" news? Why or why not? (Feel free to respond to each other's comments, not just the question.) Your response is due by 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 2.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Welcome to the Funhouse

Tell me something I ought to know about you that will help me help you as a writer --your aspirations, your fears and doubts, your literary or journalistic heroes, etc. Don't be afraid to read and bounce off each other's comments. Your own comments should be as clear and complete as you can make them in a long paragraph (150 words or so). Remember this is my introduction to your writing. Impress me. Or at least don't bore me. (First lesson: That's about the worst thing you can do to a reader. What's the worst? Probably to unintentionally confuse him or her.)

Please respond no later than Sunday, January 30, at 4 p.m.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Literature of Journalism/2011

Please say hello by leaving a comment to this post. Tell me something about yourself that you think it would be helpful for me to know. It can be related to writing, literature, or journalism, but doesn't have to be. I should hear from you by Sunday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.