Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Value of Literary Devices

Ok, there is something very important I really need to get off my chest. Today's Write-Camp featured Laremy Lee who gave a very passionate argument on why we should promote Singapore Literature in our schools.

Fundamentally, I disagree with Laremy, because I don't trust our local literati to be able to share their works in an apolitical manner. I believe, very strongly, that this effort will be hijacked in the interests of the political left. I have yet to see any writer portray the views of the central-right poignantly in a story to have it fairly represent the political interests of the majority here. To put it bluntly, MOE will become an unwitting tool of the Liberally-educated Socialists if this idea is implemented nationwide.

But that's just me. I have my biases and idiosyncrasies.I'm hardly fair and I don't expect you as the reader to agree with me.

As it turns out, Laremy has very relevant points in this presentation. One of his ideas is that local authors enrich the value of their texts by peppering their works with literary devices. Literary devices are tips and tricks to make writing more engaging. Some devices feature a rich use of metaphors. For example, "He's as arrogant as a government scholar." Others feature alliterations. "He's arrogant, anally-retentive and assholic - and these are his good points."

I was actually quite shocked and perplexed that some writers resisted the idea. Writers feel that they are not obliged to write well and actively write with an audience in mind. A person even wanted to pass the buck back to Laremy, expecting the Ministry to change instead of local writers.

I don't like the attitude of some local writers. A writer needs readers ( and very badly !), and Laremy has proposed a method to reach an entire generation of Singapore students.

We should respect his proposal.

Given the low respect and profit margins writers get in Singapore, the last thing you should be is an arrogant, self-indulgent prick when discussing your precious works.

Sometimes I wished I had better training, I would peppers my works with the proper devices ( At least my showing in Golden Point would not be this pathetic. )

And for the non-Literati types, literary devices can prove it's worth in the business arena. Whether you are writing a proposal or making a presentation to senior management, the ability to craft a great narrative and speak in metaphors will have a positive impact on how people see you.

Managers who employ metaphors are consistently rated as better leaders than those who won't.

This probably means means a much bigger pay-check. That's something many Singaporeans do care about.

1 comment:

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