For chapter eight, it's really hard to pinpoint a specific thing I really liked. This was probably my favorite chapter. He says on page 76 that "I came to one Italy in 1944 and another in 1963. The 1963 Italy was filled with sparkling fountains [and] shiny little cars that honked and darted through well-kept streets[.] [...] The 1944 Italy I remembered brown and gray and lifeless. [...] I hate to admit it, but that was the Italy I wanted to find. I fell in love with a sad land, and wanted it sad one more time" (Hugo 76). I thought this was really important, because I believe it's important for a writer to write with their experiences, and then sit on it for a bit. There's a bigger impact that way. I believe the impact was bigger with the "before" and "after" Italy.
In chapter nine, what really stuck out to me was the comparison between the "there" and "here." The factory vs. the university. To me, it was important because it shows that life in academia isn't what some may seem, especially for someone who is in the English/Literature/Creative Writing department. There's a lot of stigma, as he says on page 101: "Here: I've been named the head of a student dope ring. A student informant tells the administration I've advised students to print and distribute copies of a "dirty poem" about the campus. I am a homosexual. I am a merciless womanizer. I throw wild parties. I write my poems in Italian and then translate them into English. I come to class dressed in dirty, torn T-shirts. I am a liberal, a reactionary, a communist, a Nazi." (Hugo 101). We who dwindle in art (not even art in word-form, but theatre and other visual art as well) get a lot of crap thrown our way, and then people have the gall to ask us when we're going to work in the "real world" or get a "real job."
Being someone who has done multiple workshops both in high school and in college before, I can honestly say that they're my favorite part of any creative writing class. As a critic, I'm (still) learning how to give feedback without being too English teacher-y. I try to avoid using a red pen so the grammar Nazi doesn't gain any power. I'm also just too nice sometimes. It's hard to tell where that line between too nice and too brutal resides. That being said, I always adore the feedback I get. Even if it's something small and insignificant, I take it into consideration and apply it towards my work. There may be some cases where the critic didn't understand, or is too harsh, but it's still pretty important to give even the most brutal of workshop responses at least a little bit of attention, because there is always something to be gained. I personally believe that workshops should be in a lot of other English classes, because students can gain so much more insight from a whole group of people, rather than just one professor who has seen countless numbers of similar papers or works. Fresh eyes are always important.
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