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Jan '16 - May '18

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    The Sense of Style

    Jamie Evelyn Goldsborough
    Feb 29, '16 11:54 PM EST

    As an imminent MAD Crit student at UIC, I have a desire to learn more about and experiment in writing (aka this blog!). I have never considered myself a "writer," as writing was simply an early education fundamental that I was better at than math. However, what I deem beautiful writing I first recognize in my love for music. A musician that crafts perceptive and elegant lyrics affirms my belief that writing is a form of art. A Musician turns Artist. A favorite musician of mine that I believe is far more than his banjo is Sufjan Stevens. He is of two things: a man, and a man of religion. Aside from being a lady and not religious, his writing is still relatable and situates me with this pensive mentality that I am "okay" with confiding in. Perhaps using music and Sufjan Stevens to writing is a boorish analogy, but for me is a simple observation to example where the art of writing begins. Music—something that I fall asleep to at night and the first decision I make in the morning.

    Maybe these feelings of "relating" "pensive" and "confiding" is something I am trying to find within the course readings across my curriculum. I find it hard to span across time of various writing topics, styles, and authors to reflect. If I don't feel moved, I move on. What does that mean as a reader reading writing educating an aspiring writer to write, or have a response to? Crazy, I know.

    Anyhow, this post surfaced because of a book that I am casually reading at my bedside, The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker. I bought it as an impromptu reminder (bible? we'll see) to both rewind me to early education days, and fast-forward to now claiming a future academic arts degree. I found this title via designer and educator, Ellen Lupton's, Instagram. Ellen periodically posts covers and quotes from what she is reading, and keeps tabs of what is on her list to read, and what she has read. I check out her posted titles, and add (or buy!) to my own list. I enjoy learning what others casually read, and why. So, instead of telling you what The Sense of Style is about, learn from me and Google it yourself!

    Here is a quote I read that got me here to post this evening (I should be reading theory, or asleep after a long, long Midterm preparation and review today):

    "Style still matters, for at least three reasons. First, it ensures that writers will get their messages across, sparing readers from squandering their precious moments on earth deciphering opaque prose. When the effort fails, the result can be calamitous—as Strunk and White put it, "death on the highway caused by a badly worded road sign, heartbreak among lovers caused by a misplaced phrase in a well-intentioned letter, anguish of a traveler expecting to be met at a railroad station and not being met because of a slipshod telegram." (9)


    Pinker, Steven. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century!

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About this Blog

A collection of perspectives, rememberings, and thoughts as a dual Master of Architecture + Master of Arts Design Criticism graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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