September 9, 2012

illusion of the audience

Ong’s The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction speaks about the relationship or the role of the audience. The audience is an imaginary concept that the writers must come up with while creating a text (similar to the idea that an author isn't real, or the the author is not always there). This concept of "not simply what to say but also whom it say it to: (pg 11), bring up the question of who is the structure of writing created in the first place.

   If there is no real audience (speaking of text not oral presentations and stories) and in some stories there is no author than how is there a universal structure of what is a story and who is speaking it and whom are they speaking to? Would it not be easier to write a story as if you were racing it out loud. I know as Ong say "He has to write a book that real persons will buy and read" (pg 10), but what are the limitations of a real audience? It is simple to write for a teacher if they give you directions but what about the audience, the audience that most of us write for, how to we know if and when they are real? Or is all concepts of audience real so you must accommodate to as many people as possible?


MeganW said...

I think that in terms of an audience being real or when you know they are there is kind of up in the air. I say this because as a writer you may never know if someone reads what you write but it is still out there with the potential of being read. However, with this being said you must always write for an audience as if they are real because of the fact that someone can read what you have written at anytime. As for your last question about all concepts of an audience being real I must agree with you on the statement and writing for all types. Only because you can write something for any given purpose or genre but that does not mean that it will end up in that niche. So if you want what you have written to be accepted by your readers it seems as if you must prepare for it all.

Victoria said...

There is a saying that goes “if you try to please everyone, you end of pleasing no one”, so no, I don’t think writing to try and please everyone in your audience is the answer. In fact, I think most writers (especially writers for the field of academia) write in a manner that specifically demands a rebuttal. It may be for one specific part of their argument, or perhaps the entire essay, but most academic papers desire an opposing view. After all, if the argument pleased everyone and no one offered up a counter-argument, rhetoric would never change or grow.

Shanae Simon said...

I feel that the limitations of a real audience are illiminated with the idea of "the audience is always a fiction." This means that there is no real audience. The audience is always going to be fiction because the writer is not just writing for one person; they are writing for a group of individuals. Being that one cannot write for each individual, they must create whatever audience they want based on what the writer feels would be most appropriate. So I feel that the audience is never real. Possibly, the only real or true audience is the ones in a theater. A theater audience is real because they can see the body language and hear the same thing at the same time. When the audience is present at one time they get the same meaning. There is no question as to what the writer’s intentions are or what they meant. I do not feel you have to accommodate to anyone's people and I do not even think that is possible because we all have different ways of thinking and different types of knowledge.

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