One thing Davidson has taught me is that I am neither as accomplished a writer nor as avid a reader as I once believed.
This realization has encouraged me to abandon pretense and defense mechanisms in favor of appreciating authenticity in a variety of forms and experiences, no matter how mundane.

This class attracted me as an escape from the confines of my comfort zone. I look forward to the unorthodox, inter-medium works we will be reading. I have always admired the blending of image and text that characterizes avant-garde movements like Dada from a distance, but never studied or attempted to replicate it.

As far as my other interests go, I enjoy brainstorming and structuring literary works. I have started countless works of fiction and completed none. Hopefully, trying new styles and cross-genre methods will make me a freer, more successful writer. Drawing is another hobby of mine. I would like to write and illustrate something someday. I have a lot of notes and sketches, but few drafts. Maybe you can relate.


11 Comments on “Grady”

  1. Grady, I’ve read your writing and think you are a very accomplished writer as well as a deep, perceptive reader. Maybe your awareness of your limits is actually a sign of your intellectual growth. You know the old saying: the more we learn, the more we know how much we don’t know. I love to draw, too, and I’m hoping we can find ways in this class to “draw” upon everyone’s critical and creative faculties. Avant-garde poetry requires us to think visually and verbally. What would happen if you tried to draw one of Loy’s poems?

    • Thank you for your response, Dr. Churchill. I’m intrigued by the prospect of drawing one of Mina Loy’s poems. When I first encountered poems such as “Sketch of a Man on a Platform” and “Giovanni Franchi” I was struck by Loy’s ability to write character as something visual. Not only does her writing communicate what a character looks like, she uses description to convey character in a visceral, often disarming way. Maybe I’ll incorporate that thought into a future project!

  2. “I am neither as accomplished a writer nor as avid a reader as I once believed. This realization has encouraged me to abandon pretense and defense mechanisms in favor of appreciating authenticity in a variety of forms and experiences, no matter how mundane.”

    This is one of the quotes of the year for me, man. I’ve felt the same thing here before, and it’s awesome and inspirational to see how you take that sometimes sinking feeling and turn into an opportunity for growth. I love it!

    P.S. – I do agree with Dr. Chill. I enjoyed your writing very much!

    • Thanks for your response, Royce. I value humility and self-awareness and was just trying to convey that as best I could. I’ve enjoyed hearing your insight in our short conversations in and out of class and look forward to a semester together.

  3. Hey! I would really like to get to know you better (and suspect I will this semester). We have a lot of common interests. I agree with Dr. Churchill… you should try illustrating poems! I illustrated a few Auden poems for her modern poetry class and it was my absolute favorite project I’ve done at Davidson. I’m also working on a graphic novel this semester with Dr. Flanagan. If you want to compare notes or swap feedback and encouragement sometime, let me know! I’d love to read/ look at what you have. Do you read comics or manga or anything like that? Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for your response, Sarah. That graphic novel with Dr. Flanagan sounds like an incredible project. Keep the class updated on how that’s going; I would love to see your work! I will try to upload more of my work to my personal website in the future. If you have any posted online, I would love to have a look.

  4. Hi Grady! Like Sarah, I’m excited to get to know you and everyone in the class better this semester.
    I love that you took this class partly to help with your own creative processes! Sometimes we (read: I) get so caught up in the academic side of the work that we forget how important it can be to generate art too. Breaking down the distinctions between scholarly and creative work is a great goal, and, I think, true to the spirit of the avant-garde. I love the idea that we’ll all come out of this semester with a renewed sense of creativity in our own writing — I wonder what ways we could make ourselves and each other more open to or accountable for that kind of revival?

    • Thank you for your comment! As much as I enjoy the academic side of things, I agree; it’s easy to feel as if you’re neglecting the creative if you stay steeped in it for too long. I look forward to seeing how our class will work together to achieve that renewed sense of creativity in our work.

  5. Grady! I can totally relate re: the sudden discovery upon coming to Davidson that I was not the reader or the writer I once though I was. I will say, it was a bit of a rude awakening when I learned that reading astounding amounts of young adult fiction and writing my own about Cecelia the confused Swamp Witch does not an author or intellectual make.

    • Au contraire, Abbey, I would be fascinated to learn more about Cecelia the confused Swamp Witch. That concept has potential; I’m seeing a book deal with Scholastic in your future. Don’t sell yourself short!

  6. I really like how you open with describing a personal weakness you’ve recently discovered. Making yourself vulnerable, especially through writing a public post, is difficult to do but is rhetorically worth it! Your post is humble and relatable and I appreciate your honesty and trust! I also love the bit about getting out of your comfort zone!! I am also constantly trying to force myself to do the same thing. AND keep on drawing!!! Your sketches are INCREDIBLE. SERIOUSLY.

Leave a Reply