Balcony View Exercise Debriefing

Taking a critical stance goes beyond a gut reaction and demands that we stand outside the rhetorical interaction. It's the stance that moves us from reaction to critique.

To engage critique is to come to understand how a message (webpage, tweet, book, poem, film) works in relation to those who encounter it, and presenting that understanding to others. Not necessarily what it means - but how it works.


Doing critical work is a method: It can be learned. It is not mere guesses and impressions.


The balcony view exercise

was to help you experience what it's like to take this stance - the outside balcony view. To keep in mind is that this is not an exercise in Creative Writing. The narrative of the incident can prosaic, everyday, commonplace. The register of the first version doesn't matter much the point of the exercise is to experience taking a critical stance in the third version.

S&P invite you to reflect p 17



S&P suggest that the 3rd version will have you as a viewer most metaphorically distant and least emotionally engaged. Do you see that in yours?

discussion on stance and writing

We can see some traces of the critical stance in the 3rd version.

and why

I'm asking you to take a balcony stance in doing notes and analysis, stepping outside of the immediate rhetorical situation, observing, using neutral language when you start. This stance isn't giving up your subjectivity but placing it.




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