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On Writing as Transgression

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Here are six ways (perhaps irresponsibly vague ways, but I hope helpful) in which we can nudge these new writers to transgress: * Help them to identify their "ways of seeing," to use John Berger's term-the socially and culturally determined choices they make when writing. * Encourage them to critique these accepted ways of seeing and to write, as Walter Benjamin suggests, against/around and through them-to write against the grain. * Study the linguistic mechanismsthe lingo, jargon, rhetoric, obfuscations, coinage-through which inhuman systems are maintained. * Disrupt the cliche and the cluttered mind.\n If we encourage our students to dig, they will find the body, in all its intimacy and vulnerability, under the garbage of mainstream political rhetoric.

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