Saturday, 19 January 2008

Care to translate........

Its now late - I have been up since 7, worked for 11 hours and have started to drink some wine so please, bear this in mind for this post.

See my paradox blog below. I am not intelligent in an academic context. In replying to an email from Sarah from Warrior I used the term, I was ' in the shadow of giants' - a reference to my immature blogging in comparison to the list to the right of this post. In using the term I did a search on 'shadow of giants' and picked up this gloriously rich text from Amazon

Editorial Reviews of " Standing in the Shadow of Giants: Plagiarists, Authors, Collaborators (Perspectives on Writing: Theory, Research, Practice) (Hardcover)"

Book Description - Who's cheating whom in college writing instruction? This book argues that through binary privileging of the "real" author (the inspired, autonomous genius) over the transgressive writer (the collaborator or the plagiarist), composition pedagogy deprives students of important opportunities to join in scholarly discourse and assume authorial roles. From Plato's paradoxical dependence on and rejection of Homer, to Jerome McGann's dismissal of copyright as the "hand of the dead," Standing in the Shadow of Giants surveys changes and conflicts in Western theories of authorship. From this survey emerges an account of how and why plagiarism became important to academic culture; how and why current pedagogical representations of plagiarism contradict contemporary theory of authorship; why the natural, necessary textual strategy of patchwriting is mis-classified as academic dishonesty; and how teachers might craft pedagogy that authorizes student writing instead of criminalizing it.

About the AuthorREBECCA MOORE HOWARD chairs and directs the Writing Program at Syracuse University.

Now I respect his paragraph for the rich and varied words it uses to help describe the book. Normally I would spend some time putting the words I do not understand into MS Words synonyms feature but I think you may be able to do better, Sarah (Warrior)and Andy (Khayamanzi), step from the world of academia and give it a go, in fact anyone - can you put this paragraph into one sentence?? Maybe Andrew could work his marketing magic on it??

I promise, I'll post the survey stuff (Canal related) and maybe a mouse (mice) update tomorrow - or later today as its once again gone midnight !

Good night



grannybuttons said...

Nev, I have a good rule of thumb - never read a book with a colon in the title. It'll have been written by academics for academics.

The book you found is obviously one of those!

'Standing in the shadow of giants' echoes Isaac Newton's comment that he only managed to achieve a lot because he 'stood on the shoulders of giants' (e.g. Socrates, Archimedes etc)

I think the book blurb is trying to say that students who simply copy their essays from the internet aren't necessarily cheating, but might still be learning something.

The very act of looking for things and cutting and pasting them together is another form of learning.

Thinking live here, I'll name it 'Photoshop literature'.

(Using a picture analogy, you might not be able to see or take a picture, but you could still come up with some original work by manipulating several images together - the originality is in the edges, where you try to match up one person's image to another.)

If Andy Warhol was still alive, he'd probably approve of copying your schoolwork from the internet!

But I'm old school and I don't!

Going back to blogs, you could make your own observations about the things Sarah and I say, and create something new.

Instead of standing in our shadow, simply stand on our shoulders!

Which is what you are doing now, well done.

Wine can make some great blog posts. But it's best to check it over the following morning.

Write with wine, edit with a hangover; that's a good precept.

Sarah said...

And I think the book sounds like rather a load of pretentious tosh - but what do you expect from literature people. Probably all postmodernists, pah! I have no time for this sort of old nonsense that gets academics a bad name. I do local government, me. OK, I do do political theory too, but in a totally non tossy way. It's all about who gets what and who gets to tell who what to do and why. That's it. The thing with colons in book titles though ... if you actually looked at the book on the shelf, it would just have a title in big letters and a subtitle in smaller letters ... would you read it then? It's only when you copy it out that you have to separate them with a colon.

Nev Wells said...


Thanks for the comments. Having had the 'cut and paste' discussion with both of my sons over home work production I am firmly in the 'it’s not a positive process' camp.

Sarah, - my education went up a small notch last night - I now know more about modernism and postmodernism - I have been exposed to both before but never fully understanding their meaning -so thanks go for the comment.