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Around the Table

Dear Lizzie, I too, was a creative writing major as an undergraduate. While I don’t have a Rhetoric and Composition degree, I did get to teach Advanced Placement classes as a high school English teacher. The training I had in rhetoric grew me not only as a writer, but as a person, educator, and communicator. Writing is the by-product of thought. It certainly helps me in my editorial career and fiction writing. It has helped me in communicating with friends and family during very stressful life and death circumstances - writing eulogies and obituaries, for example. It’s order in chaos and the calm eye of a hurricane. The art of rhetoric is everything. Applying that art in good form to the beauty of imagination and fiction pieces like Martin Amis’ Time’s Arrow can profoundly impact society. If you haven’t read it, know it’s a novel written backwards. Everything from physical movement to conversations occur in reverse. The story begins at the end of a man’s life and ends at his birth. This helps to know: he had been a NAZI doctor and spends his life escaping his identity; the novel looks at the Holocaust backwards. Instead of the attempt at the destruction of an entire nation of people, it’s the creation, thus the only way to make sense of what happened. It’s unfiltered and brilliant. Enjoy. P.S thank goodness for rejection letters. They’re simply nudges in the right direction. - Janie

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