ENG 1D: An exemplar of sorts

Juxtaposition by Kate Haskell, via Flickr.
Juxtaposition by Kate Haskell, via Flickr.

Today I give you an exemplar. This exemplar was written by Umberto Eco, an incredibly gifted writer and academic. He is one of my favourite writers because, well, he occasionally makes my head hurt. His writing is beautiful, descriptive, and demanding. Thus, I should warn you that I edited the excerpt to make it more grade-appropriate.  I hope I haven’t butchered his work too badly.

Before you begin, I should also introduce you to the term juxtaposition. Looking at the picture to the right might help you guess at the word’s meaning. Let’s consider another photo that might help you understand the word:

Once we have read the excerpt, I will divide you into groups. Your goal is to create a visual representation of the scene in the excerpt. While you have some freedom in how you decide to represent the content, you must do the following:

  • draw the objects in the conservatory
  • organize these drawings in such a way that the layout accurately reflects the excerpt
  • choose powerful words from the excerpt and add them to your drawing. Make sure that these words are accompanied by a short explanation of their effectiveness.

Remember that we do this to prepare you for your own creative writing task. Carefully consider how Eco moves you through the space and how he makes the reader feel.


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