Hmm. . .

“unconscious cerebration”: Phrase used to describe the views of a school of invention dubbed the “new romantics” by Richard Young in “Concepts of Art and the Teaching of Writing” (I’m reading the text in Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Invention, edited (not coincidentally) by Richard Young and Yameng Liu. I like it.

Even though I know that the “new romantic” school of invention as described here focuses solely on the creative genius and imagination of a writer without considering social influences, I still like the phrase. Probably because cerebration reminds me of celebration. I’m not sure if that was a conscious connection on Young’s part or just a serendipitous connection in my wedding-addled brain. But I kind of like the idea of cerebration=celebration. Like there are balloons and streamers going off in my head when I invent. And cake. Of course.

Update: According to the OED, of course, cerebration really is a word.  Talk about ruining the fun. This is why I am not a cognitive theorist. . .

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I am an associate professor of English and writing center coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I teach courses in composition, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of English, and peer tutoring.

Posted in Dissertation, Inspiration, Invention

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