"Literature could be said to be a sort of disciplined technique for arousing certain emotions." Could you elaborate on the "disciplined technique"?

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Literature is a "disciplined technique".  It is not haphazard or spontaneous.  Most of what happens in a piece of literature is carefully planned out over several writing sessions...hours if not years of time thinking, revising, reworking, researching, and editing.  To write well, it must be done daily.  That alone takes immense discipline.  It also requires discipline to work in all the elements of a good story and have them mold together seemlessly so the overall product looks like it would be easy to construct--everything is thought out and planned from the setting and plot, to the character development, dialogue, themes, and other wonderful factors that make a story amazing either in a book or on screen at the movie theatre.  It is the seamless working together of all these elements that evokes the emotion you speak of in your quote--the "Oh, Wow!" or "So what?" factor.

Hope this helps shed some light on your question.   Good Luck!

kc4u's profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

This idea that one needs "disciplined techniques" to arouse emotions seems to be to be a curious combination of the Neo-Classical and the Romantic ideology. While the Romantic idea of the emotive purpose of literature is kept intact, the stipulation of orderly methods adds to a Neo-Classical prescriptiveness. But, in the 20th century, with the Russian formalists, we have seen further insistence on technique, form and form--the dynamics of the devising of a literary text and it seems to continue even in Postmodernist literature.

The stress is on precision, order, synchronization. As Aristotle implied in Poetics, there is indeed, a relation between order and beauty. Order and discipline always evoke beauty. The Romantics and the Sur-realists who believe in automatic writing might think otherwise. To them, the imposition of an order on the chaotic flow of human experience is problematic and escapist.

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