I wrote a piece but yeah I did not really talk about my culture. Could I get some feedback, not hardcore but just thoughts on the initial read? The stimulus for the discursive is "be a voice, not an echo." My teacher said the stimulus will be about going against norms and stuff for my exam on Monday so I tried to do a bit of that in this:
A manifesto in favor of the chorus
“ I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano, A stage where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.”
The Merchant of Venice.
Take the stage. This is the theatre of life in which we must all play a part. Whether you’re the mother, the student, or the businessman. You will always look upon the echoes of the predecessors to construct the colors that you will paint on your mask. I personally know that when I become a mother, I will strive to teach my children about the wide cultures of the world just like my mum did. I’ll take them all across Europe, just like that one time we went to Venice. Picture a little girl in 2011, chubby face framed by a puffer jacket hoodie, hypnotized whilst watching figures dressed up in 16th-century attire improvising. Commedia dell’arte, whilst not getting the innuendos back then, I do remember the masks. I recall the experience when Il Capitano took off his mask in one of the wings (which was open air) and the feeling of a child perplexed is still fresh in my memory.
This feeling comes back when I write. I have to take down the mask, the masks I should say, that being that the mask is made up of the heteroglossic identities we have. The identity is not absolute or fixed, it is ephemeral not static. Finding that authentic voice as a writer is one of the most challenging aspects of the craft in my opinion. However - the voices that resonate and really ‘speak’ are those of transgression and catharsis. The avant-garde, the resistant narrative. James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Guillaume Apollinaire.
Think of the new AI writing craze, of which I've seen close to a million articles about how writers will be out of their jobs because of this small piece of coding. Where is the voice in the artificial? The AI is not a human obviously, nor is it an echo or just a singular voice. I find it fascinating that over the history of writing that the concept of voice has shifted thoroughly in the form but still all subjected to be transgressive and to edify.
After an act in a Greek play, a chorus of singers would sing to the crowd to summarise what had happened. Normally for the illiterate individuals in the crowd, it also paradoxically was utilized by the playwright to teach, edify, and transgress as it would normally serve as a commentary on the events in the play as well. Similar to Shakespeare, however, he utilized one voice, the intelligent. Seen in characters such as Emilia in Othello or the Fool in King Lear, serving as the mouthpiece signature in his social commentary. There was a plural of the chorus, then one singular chorus, now what? The echo in the chamber has diminished and the AI writer is ``at the end.
Envision you’re a Greek woman in the years of BC and it's the night where you’ve gone to see the new play by Sophocles. The whole crowd gasps from witnessing a woman going against the social norms, you feel vindicated by the cathartic scenes taking place on the stage. All this purging of emotional release on the stage leads you to a new revelation and appreciation for Sophocles but Electra’s ambiguous fate is never specified. Sophocles uses his authorial voice to challenge the conventional and ultimately imposes reflection. In the realm of literature, the writer's power knows no bounds, for their words breathe life into dreams and make the impossible attainable. Much like the novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s lover’ , which was so transgressive that it was removed from the public since too many married ladies were eyeing their gardeners. Mimesis can come from another universe and shape this one. The voice can come from Pandora's box.
I think therefore AI am
What separates AI and humans (apart from not being coded) is the ability that we speak with nuance and originality. We can also place those little synecdoches of ourselves which really establish ourselves. For example, Virginia Woolf placed Septimus as the transgressor, Sally Seaton as her desire for liberty and expression of sexuality, and Clarissa as her image of being a housewife. The chorus is sage, incisive, and insightful in its commentary. The act of writing can amalgamate that beautiful chorus into one voice. The masks can be lifted off in the magical sphere of the creative world.
If you prick the artificial, does it bleed? No, it has no mask. It can write but it cannot really draw upon its experiences as it has none. Ironic that it has access to all the internet but yet cannot have access to us.
I still have that nearly 11-year-old mask we bought from our Venice trip. One side gold, with the sun and the other a side of indigo, with some miniature stars and a cute crescent moon. My mother bought it for herself but it just ended up with me as I grew and it could actually fit me. I put it on once in a while, noticing how it makes my nose look sharp and my eyes upturned. But finish now procrastinating on your writing piece, the mask obscures your view.
“He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely.”
As You Like It