There's a Stranger in my Words

There's a Stranger in my Words

Length: 1127 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
There's a Stranger in my Words

As I sit here and stare at the Mac
I wonder who sits at my back?
If they knew what I write
Would they curse me and bite
Or start up some verbal attack?

Well, as I walk through the swirling, smoke filled sky of the Hagg-Sauer doorway, squeezing my eyes shut against the reflected sunlight, I thought about how I would approach this project. How to say what I need to say, without saying it in a way that has been said a thousand times, in a million-million words.

The voices in my head struggle to escape to the paper, but there's this thing in between my thoughts and your mind. Language that I would _never_ actually use in speaking to someone seems to just flow, driven by some primal "college survival" instinct, from my fingertips when I sit down at the word-hatcher with an assignment in hand. This has become a real dilemma, as I now struggle for true expression and attempt to beat back the demons of 15 years worth of practice at the 'official style' of writing.

_I feel that I have become quite well adapted to writing the language which has become the "common coin of the realm" at colleges and Universities._ I could sit here and write puffed up, stagnant, and wordy paragraph after paragraph, and still hold the interest of many of my instructors. But that is not my desire...I seek to free my muse from the shackles of formulae, the bondage of format, and the unrelenting ambiguity of "the same old stuff."

When does your _voice_, that engaging part of your writing which bridges topic and audience, become sensible and engaging?

Is it when you _feel it_ working, when the point seems to be making its way onto the page or screen in front of you?

Does it depend more on the person reading the thing you gave them? If this is true, then our discussion begins to degenerate into the absurd...

If the success of my writing comes from you, the reader, then I can never be sure of its effectiveness before talking to you about it, can I? And if this is the case, then maybe it is best that there _is_ a fixed format to write into with college work. Pigeon holes, indeed!

And yet, when the smoke clears and the debris is swept away, sometimes I feel that the real me, my thoughts and feelings, come through onto the page.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"There's a Stranger in my Words." 19 Sep 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Stranger, by Albert Camus Essay

- The Stranger, by Albert Camus, begins with Meursault receiving a telegram informing him of his mother's death. He attends the funeral and shows no remorse during it, but he complains about how hot it is. After returning, he goes on a date with Marie Cardona, a former co-worker, and has a sexual relationship with her. The day after he encounters an alleged pimp, Raymond Sintes. Raymond asks Meursault to write a letter to lure his mistress back so he can torment her after he found out she was cheating on him....   [tags: Albert Camus Stranger Analysis]

Free Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Albert Camus' The Stranger Essay

- Albert Camus' The Stranger What if the past has no meaning and the only point in time of our life that really matters is that point which is happening at present. To make matters worse, when life is over, the existence is also over; the hope of some sort of salvation from a God is pointless. Albert Camus illustrates this exact view in The Stranger. Camus feels that one exists only in the world physically and therefore the presence or absence of meaning in one's life is alone revealed through that event which he or she is experiencing at a particular moment....   [tags: Stranger]

Research Papers
1687 words (4.8 pages)

The Absurd in Albert Camus’ The Stranger Essay

- Empathy makes us human yet not all humans are emphatic, In Albert Camus’ The Stranger a suspiciously apathetic man named Meursault comes to light as a criminal. However Meursault perpetrated a crime of passion, is that not absurd for a negligent man. In a simple view of Meursault life and philosophies the remission of human feelings is evident, and slightly frightening. In the stranger most of the events in the main characters life require an emotional effect, the death of his mother, the engagement to a beautiful woman who loved him deeply, befriending a criminal, and most shockingly the act of homicide....   [tags: Albert Camus, The Stranger ]

Research Papers
1022 words (2.9 pages)

The Stranger: Changes in Meursault Essay

- In The Stranger, Albert Camus describes the life of the protagonist, Meursault, through life changing events. The passage chosen illustrates Meursault’s view during his time in prison for killing the Arab. In prison, one can see the shifts in Meursault’s character and the acceptance of this new lifestyle. Camus manipulates diction to indicate the changes in Meursault caused by time thinking of memories in prison and realization of his pointless life. Because Camus published this book at the beginning of World War II, people at this time period also questions life and death similar to how Meursault does....   [tags: The Stranger, Albert Camus]

Research Papers
997 words (2.8 pages)

The Stranger, Albert Camus Essay

- “Between my straw mattress and the bed planks, I had actually found an old scrap of newspaper, yellow and transparent, half-stuck to the canvas. On it was a news story, the first part of which was missing, but which must have taken place in Czechoslovakia. A man had left a Czech village to seek his fortune. Twenty-five years later, and now rich, he had returned with a wife and a child. His mother was running a hotel with his sister in the village where he’d been born. In order to surprise them, he had left his wife and child at another hotel and gone to see his mother, who didn’t recognize him when he walked in....   [tags: The Stranger, Albert Camus]

Research Papers
1096 words (3.1 pages)

Meursault's Indifference in The Stranger, by Albert Camus Essay

- In The Stranger, Albert Camus allows the main character to tell the story in order to give the reader an experience of his own. Obviously, with a novel also comes language, which Camus incorporates cleverly as a way to indirectly illustrate Meursault’s thoughts about certain situations. Although the novel represents a postmodern setting, the author shifts the overall meaning. In The Stranger, Camus applies a unique literary style as a power that deflects blame from Meursault, the antiheroic character....   [tags: The Stranger, Albert Camus]

Research Papers
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Unemotional Meursault in The Stranger by Albert Camus

- Unemotional Meursault in Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider) In Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger, the protagonist Meursault is a character who has definite values and opinions concerning the society in which he lives. His self-inflicted alienation from society and all its habits and customs is clear throughout the book. The novel itself is an exercise in absurdity that challenges the reader to face the nagging questions concerning the meaning of human existence. Meursault is an existentialist character who views his life in an unemotional and noncommittal manner, which enhances his obvious opinion that in the end life is utterly meaningless....   [tags: The Stranger, The Outsider]

Free Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

Motif of Violence in The Stranger by Albert Camus Essay

- Motif of Violence in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) The Stranger written by Albert Camus is an absurdist novel revolving around the protagonist, Meursault. A major motif in the novel is violence. There are various places where violence takes place and they lead to the major violent act, which relates directly to the theme of the book. The major violent act of killing an Arab committed by Meursault leads to the complete metamorphosis of his character and he realizes the absurdity of life....   [tags: The Stranger The Outsider]

Free Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

The Caracter of Meursault in The Stranger (The Outsider) Essay

- The Caracter of Meursault in The Stranger      Albert Camus' The Stranger is a startling novel at worst and a haunting classic at best. Camus presents a thrilling story of a man devoid of emotion, even regarding the most sensitive, personal matters. The main character, Meursault shows no feelings after the death of his mother, during his romantic relationship with Marie, or during his trial for the murder of an Arab. Meursault never shows feelings of love, regret, remorse, or sadness. It takes a great amount of skill to portray such a seemingly inhuman character as someone who is complex and multi-faceted like Meursault is....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Research Papers
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Free College Essays - Stylistic Devices in The Stranger by Albert Camus

- Use of Stylistic Devices in The Stranger In his novel The Stranger, Albert Camus uses the stylistic devices of imagery and diction to develop the intensity of the physical action and to illustrate the lack of emotion in the last paragraph of Part I. Imagery of all kinds is abundant in this passage as Meursault, the main character, pays great attention to and describes in detail the beach environment that surrounds him. Visual imagery is present as he conveys the intense heat by telling how it seemed as though the sky had cracked open and was raining flame, and by personifying the ocean, recounting how it breathed blistering hot air onto the beach....   [tags: The Stranger The Outsider]

Free Essays
415 words (1.2 pages)

Related Searches

If I am to judge my writing by my own criteria, then I can be happy with writing something like this which is "all-over-the-road," knowing that I am getting into a less formal but still informative and engaging style of writing. But to get to this place, and then to turn something like this in, in a college writing class? Laws, no! It just feels wrong! I haven't developed an argument, postulated a theme, or even followed the strict rules of grammar. This is the real shame, the crux of the thing; I have learned how to write academic papers, but it limits me, almost chaining me into a super-formal way of writing.

My muse speaks to the gentle, pastel hues of spring. It longs to whisper in a sunlit glade, murmur to the lapping wavelets of the new-thawed river, and whistle joyously to the courting sparrows. But, there is no room for softness or spirit in the no-nonsense "official style" we are taught, and to break free of the academic mold (?) we are cast into requires a risky-feeling trek.

The papers that I usually hand in block out the muse, banishing her to a place so remote that when I do choose to call her back, I must first go through a ritual of purification before she can hear my cries; purifying my writing involves many half-assed starts and a lot of wasted time at the keyboard.

William Burroughs, author of "Junky," "The Naked Lunch" and other counter-cultural writing, likes to talk about "...magic in the word. Words are images, and image was the first form of magic that mankind had. When the tribal witch drew the image of the bear on the cave wall, it wasn't there for looks." The point was power, supernatural power over space and time. His big book, the one that made him famous, "The Naked Lunch," has long passages which are comprised of random pages of his manuscript, cut up and put back together in different ways. There are whole chapters which he intentionally mixed up the page order of, and much of his most striking writing is "flow-of-consciousness" writing, kinda' like free association, that is none-the-less interesting and viable. I can imagine trying to give my voice that kind of an outlet...

His back to the future shock absorbed the flowing downhill racing away, sailing across town and country border disputes without resolution. His art formed into little scraps of food lying strewn across the floorboards as he accelerated his heartrate in a whirl of multi-colored smoke filled barrooms, full of disoriented mortals among a throng of gaily lit line dancers.

It is weird to write in this style, and I don't have his knack for it, but Burroughs makes it work:

...cold and far to walk rooming house a shabby street room on the top floor these stairs/cough/the Priest there pulling himself up along the banister he went into the bathroom yellow wood panels toilet dripping and got his works from under the washbasin wrapped in brown paper back to his room get every drop in the dropper he rolled up his sleeve.

Just me, maybe, but it seems that I can hear the cold desperation there. His voice has come through to me, anyway.

If words are magical, then we need to be careful about what kind of spell are we casting when we write the standard five paragraphs we are all so good at writing. No sense filling our world up with anymore negative stuff, huh?

Magic...hopefully this is the power of my voice inscribed on the page before you. If you read and hear my words, my hesitancy, and the discomfort that I have waded through on my way to this paper, then my little spell is cast on you. For a moment my _voice_ is magik'd from the me of now to wherever, whenever you are at this moment. The supernatural power of the written word...

I look out the window here and all I can see are students hurrying from class to class, huddled up into their sweaters and jackets, trying to keep the cold out...That's what I try to do with my writing, too...Hurry along, cover the groound, but keep the cold out.
Return to