Jul 3 - 2018

46: An Object is More than Just an Object

About the Episode

Today on our show, we’re talking about objects. Things like a pen, trash cans, reading glasses, and a scale. We can build stories around these things because these objects affect our lives. They can stand in for an emotion. The phrase for this is object correlative. T.S. Eliot used this phrase to describe “a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion.”

We asked students in our class to write about an object. You will hear prompt responses from three students. Allison Langer writes about dependence on reading glasses. The glasses represent age and loss. Liz Marquardt writes about garbage bins, which become symbolic of the frustrations of a long-term marriage. Maya Kieffer gave the same prompt to her poetry students in a class she facilitates through Exchange for Change at the Dade Correctional Institution, and we learn how an object can reveal so much about perspective. In a longer, edited story, Margery Berger, takes us into her world through her life-long relationship with her scale. Each student takes an ordinary object and shows the object’s impact in their world. And because of that process, we feel the emotion each object represents for the narrator.

Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio.

Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.

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