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Literature's Power To Tell History - Essay Example

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Since the beginning of time, civilizations have relied upon the power of the written word as it comes to documenting events that have occurred throughout history. The usage of such words that seek to give the reader the distinct visual of a time or place that they may not have been able to witness themselves…
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Literatures Power To Tell History
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Download file to see previous pages Written works that can be preserved through the ages and as such are able to be placed in the hands of countless people, all the while giving each and everyone an image(s) that will, in one way or another, cement for them in their mind an idea(s) that would have seemed to be improbable to them had they not have read what it was they read at the time that they had done so.
As journalists, this task remains in the forefront of importance when it comes to the production of articles on issues pertaining to human interest and relevance. From a journalistic standpoint, the work of John Hersey remained true to the central role of that which a journalist is intended to do. Another figure to consider is that of Tom Wolfe, who also was a journalist during his career. In regards to his views on the idea of 'new journalism', Wolfe's personal definition would be as such, "Wolfe described his version of the New Journalism as an appropriation of the techniques of realistic fiction writers, building a nonfiction account of a person or group after an intense period of observation and interviews, mixing exposition with reconstructed dramatic "scenes" that rely upon dialogue and access to the interior experience of the subjects," Adding that, "Wolfe experimented with a flamboyant style, switching freely between the point of view of the narrator and his subjects, employing an energetic vocabulary that mixed the subject's colloquialisms with his own vivid and esoteric diction, and constructing a detailed awareness of the subject's social status. At its best, the New Journalism opened a new world to nonfiction writing, both enriching the reader's sense of the lived experience of the subject and expanding the range of interpretation open to the writer, whose voice had an entirely new range," ("Tom Wolfe", p.1).
Such a practice would bode well for literary understanding of times and events that have occurred in the past or the present. By nature, human beings often gravitate towards that which they themselves have felt or experienced before in their own lives. Utilizing scenes of human intrigue and condition, rather than primarily a resuscitation of historical fact, give way to a stronger reliance upon the ability to empathize with that which can be identified with through personal circumstance. The usage of first-person narrative serves to guide the reader through the events that occurred in such a way that they themselves can feel as if they are experiencing the events firsthand with their own eyes. Such an experience that remains true to the purpose of the journalistic endeavor. To have the reader, while reading the written compilation of the author, be able to observe the events of history through means of first person narrative and the consumption of details having to do with the daily behavior patterns, falls squarely within the clearly defined definition of journalism, or in this case "new journalism".
As for New Journalism, "In Wolfe's hands, the New Journalism was a celebration for life as lived, and at the same time an instrument for the disparagement of pretension and self-destructiveness. In his story on Junior Johnson, a race driver schooled in back-country whiskey running, Wolfe described an escape for revenue agents: "They had the barricades up and they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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