An update from the twenty-fourth Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett
A summary of the workshop held on Saturday January 22, plus some of the output published below
In his first class of the new year, Conner Bassett revitalized a scintillating lecture on the use of “and” in literature as well as visual art. Over the course of the workshop, we learned about the uniquely conjoining, relational, and aggregational nature of the swiss army knife contraction, noting specifically its different uses within the titles Crime and Punishment and Being and Nothingness. We also looked at Marcel Duchamp’s conversion of a urinal into a “fountain” in his famous museum exhibition, noticing how this subversion of meaning connoted the effect of the word “and.” Moving through the expression of “and” in works by Magritte, Warhol, the general nature of Islamic art, and in the effect of the comic panel, we read an excerpt from Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses in order to see the “speed” of "and." Finally, we considered “and’s” ability to transcend time and conjoin the present with the past in Dylan Thomas’ poem “And Death Shall Have No Dominion.” And, of course, at the end of the workshop we wrote!
The Challenge: In 30 minutes, write one of three types of pieces: one, write a story or poem where you replace every period with the word “and”: two, write a story or poem that begins “in the middle,” beginning with the word “and”: or, three, start a new story or poem at the end of an old one, beginning with the word “and.”
The Participants: Lina, Gwynne, Amelia, Emma, Ethan, Samantha, Penelope, Nova, Josh, Ellie, Zar, Alice, Quinn