Reading the river essay

On The Rainy River Analysis Essay

Instead, the author deals with a broader context or more distant experience. Nevertheless, through documents, research, interviews, and trips to the area, he immerses his emotional and psychic self into the events as much as possible. He writes with a clearly subjective belief about the events, as opposed to the dispassionate voice of an academic or journalist, or the less overtly subjective voice of a biographer.

And why had I never heard of them? I had been writing about human rights for years.

Excerpt From "Life on the Mississippi" by Mark Twain

In Dakar, Senegal, the sun-drenched, crumbling one-time colonial capital of French West Africa, bits of Europe are scattered…like an archipelago. The First World islands are sleek [with] high-rise resort hotels…. Virtually all the guests are white. As I jog along the road early one morning, men are urinating in the street, getting up after sleeping the night in the ruins of buildings….

He is the guide between these two worlds. His slant on the details reveals as much about his sensibilities as it does about Dakar. The immersion writer guides the reader on an emotional as well as factual journey. It is also worth noting the distinction between immersion and personal essays.

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Port of Call 4: Memoir Midpoint on our figurative river is the memoir, the subgenre most people associate with creative nonfiction, since it most obviously employs many of the same techniques we encounter in fiction: dialogue, setting, character development, plot, and metaphor. In the forms already explored, the text generally follows a relatively straightforward, chronological recounting of events; here, however, the story begins to find a more personal, emotional arc to follow. The innocent voice relates the facts of the story, the surface subject, the action—not altogether unlike autobiography.

It conveys the experience of the relatively unaware persona the author was when the events actually happened.

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It reveals what the facts mean, both intellectually and emotionally. Reflection is not just looking back, recollecting or remembering the past. The experienced voice conveys a more complex viewpoint, one that interprets and reflects upon the surface subject. Whether the memoir is essay- or book-length, both voices are crucial: One thrusts the story forward; the other plunges the reader into the real heart of the matter. As these voices intersect throughout the memoir, the author reveals the true nature of the journey. Lisa D. This voice describes the wonders of Manley Hot Springs as seen through the eyes of a twelve-year-old girl: "Instantly I am occupied, walking our dog, wetting the toes of my canvas tennis shoes in the silty current, kicking sprays of gravel into the air.

I narrate the scene to myself, add it to the elaborate and constant story I whisper of my adventures in Alaska. By including the detail of the bright orange car, she implicitly compares it to the clothing hunters wear. However, as she goes on to show, she is the hunted, not the hunter. I would discover how that word could be spit out with as much disgust as any racial slur. By the end, Chavez comes to understand fear; she sees herself and her world through less innocent eyes. Even later, I would learn to mold my anger into something I could use.

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Memoir is. The autobiographer focuses on success while the memoirist tries to decipher how or why life events often go wrong.

Memoir, therefore, is not a simple narcissistic examination of self—as some critics claim. By employing many of the same techniques as fiction, poetry, and belle lettres, memoir achieves universality. Also unlike autobiography, memoir relies almost solely on memory.

I think that misrepresents entirely the way the faculty of memory works. Personal essays encompass such topics as nature and travel, or social and political issues. Whereas memoir is an exploration of the past, personal essays can explore contemporary—even future—events. Memoirs and personal essays do have some things in common, however. In both genres, the author imbues his or her work with a strong personal point of view.

Unlike immersion essayists, who seek to immerse themselves in unfamiliar subject matter, personal essayists write about what they already know well. Annie Dillard, for example, writes about Tinker Creek, close to her home in Virginia, a habitat she knows intimately. Dillard, like many nature writers such as Edward Abbey, Farley Mowat, and Terry Tempest Williams, are already naturalists and environmentalists by inclination. We smell and hear the machine and understand its impact on her particular world.

A burning cloud.

River Runs Through It

Oct 09, ISBN His curiosity and erudition, and his joy in both intellectual and physical life are in full bloom on these pages. We need renewable energy sources that will keep producing in a clean, more efficient way for. The poems work the way memory does, or rivers do, meandering, slowing down, speeding up, occasionally flooding. The morphology of an alluvial river reach is controlled by a combination of sediment supply, substrate composition, discharge, vegetation, and bed aggradation.

A grinding stone. It eats corn…. It gobbles it and changes it to something else. To money, to food, to questions and lifestyles. It prepares children for the rest of what will come…. It is a father. It is a dirty smelly father that works and works and pushes and shoves out the meat of little kernels of corn. All the food and all the people and time that went by in that little garage kitchen.

The River of Consciousness

In addition, most of the extended family works at the Molino, including the author, as a child. Other than the corn, everything was black and filmed with…fat…. It was hot, it was humid, and for us there was no greater hell. Yet, instead of examining solely herself, Martinez allows the molino, as object and as metaphor, to reveal the secrets it holds for her family as well as for her culture. Port of Call 6: Meditative Essay A meditative essay, as the name suggests, explores or meditates upon an emotion or idea by drawing upon a range of experience.

Unlike the previous forms, the meditative essay is not necessarily triggered by a specific event. Instead, an image or an idea may propel it into being. There are two ways to approach a meditative essay. The first way is to examine an idea or emotion by embodying it, making it physical. In order to do so, you must discover objects that embody an otherwise abstract emotion. The abstractions must be rendered tangibly. You must discover images or metaphors to embody the ineffable. The second way to approach a meditative essay is to begin at the opposite end of the spectrum, with the tangible thing itself.

But to consider a physical object deeply one must uncover hidden properties within the object. Consider a jar of peanut butter. You might begin by describing the label. What do you find inside? Peanut butter, of course! It begins with a physical candle, before journeying into the abstract notions of joy and belonging. He writes, "Lately, I have started to push a wide, yellow candle into sunlight….

The Meandering River: An Overview of the Subgenres of Creative Nonfiction*

I move it…to capture the light and to hold it for a while. Then its entire fat body glows from within in a rich, mellow flame, like an improbable Buddha who is dining on the universe.

In short, the abstract idea needs a tangible body; the tangible object needs a soul. Here it is the image that drives the work, creating meaning and forming the narrative arc. Port of Call 7: Lyric Essay In the lyric essay, as in the meditative essay, the writer is not constrained by a narrative of action; the movement is from image to image, not from event to event. Ergo, also, the fence.