Tuesday, January 02, 2024

clever writers and their literary devices

From a X post I wrote this morning: (I really can't believe I have to write an x like that; it just seems absurd.)

For last night's family dinner conversation, I brought up a literary device that I'm still learning to detect: foreshadowing. My family is a mixture of readers and film buffs so I alluded to both mediums and how I am still surprised by the cleverness of writers to show their hand. Somehow in all my years of school, reading, college teacher-training and homeschooling, the use of literary devices came late to me. Astounding really, the more I think of it. But here's to continual learning even at my advanced age!

A few years back, I was introduced to a way to study poems that really resonated with me from an online seminar by Adam and Missy Andrews at the Center for Lit. I've been a basic member for a few years and have enjoyed many of their training and discussion sessions. Their resources have helped me fill in the gaps of my literary education that I didn't even realize I had. (Not a paid endorsement, just me mentioning their site.) It was this poem analysis training that really blew open the lid on literary devices. I knew a few very weakly, but after following their steps, I really got digging into all the types of devices that can be used. It was life-changing for me as a reader as it really helped me think better as I read, something I really didn't understand how to do and obviously I am still learning!

Before being ready to turn out my nightstand light on Sunday night, I began rereading this clever bit of writing (photographed below) on a whim and the next day while thinking again about the unusual style of epistolary writing, I noticed the foreshadowing literary device right where I had missed it on previous readings. I was a bit dumfounded at how oblivious I had been but also delighted to finally see it. (I have read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society several times and also enjoyed the Netflix movie created about it. It's a modern novel that I happen to really like.) The same thing happened when I started the gospel of Mark again yesterday. Weird how the mind works: one minute it's just plodding along reading familiar accounts and the next, it's firing on all neural cylinders and you can barely keep up with it.

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