Fiction Or Description

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Dale Disney Professor Pucciarelli English Composition: Section 64 21 September 2011 FICTION OR DESCRIPTION There are various techniques to write and share stories. Which technique is best to use seems to be subjective. In both Joan Didion’s essay “On Keeping a Notebook” and Patricia Hampl’s essay “The Dark Art of Description” illustrates this fact clearly. While Joan Didion uses rhetorical questions, personal anecdotes, and imaginary facts to record her life experiences, Patricia Hampl uses imagery and vignettes in her writings, but based on the fact that Patricia Hampl uses less falsehoods in her stories, her style of writing is more appealing to the reader. Joan Didion uses rhetorical questions in her notebook to engage readers into the story of her notebook writings. Didion poses questions in her essay “On Keeping a Notebook” such as, “Why did I write it down?” and “Waiting for a train? Missing one? 1960? 1961? Why Wilmington?” The uses of rhetorical questions make the reader subconsciously think and question her topics. Her questions make the reader feel more like a part of the story. Although, the stories written in this style are less popular than Hampl’s style, this style of writing is a clever technique employed throughout Didion’s essay. Didion also employs other clever truth bending techniques in her writings. She utilizes her great imagination to help her recall specific moments in her life. Didion states that her writings are not meant for public viewing. Her notebook writings are for her own private use, as stated “…we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its maker.” She uses clever and imaginative writing to describe how she felt at that particular moment. She uses this creative style of writing to illustrate how
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