Deborah Brandt Reflection

There is something magical about reading; the way it enriches the reader, the shared beliefs it instills, the values it creates, the tastes it develops, and the identities it establishes. Without writing, there would be no beauty of reading.

Deborah Brandt, argues in “The Status of Writing,” and “How Writing is Remaking Reading,” the collision between the “moral economy of reading” and the “commercial economy of writing.” It used to be that the value and perception of writing depended on “high cultural values of reading,” however, now, it’s suggested the value of reading comes to depend on the transactional status of writing in contexts of commerce, production, competition, private subsidy and surveillance.” I cannot fully attest to this idea, because to me, there is still an in-between. I wouldn’t say one depends solely on the other and vice versa.

Brandt claims, “Writing has more direct transactional value than reading,” but I would say it could be the same for both. When I write, I tend to value the reading and the writing aspect equally. Brandt says that writing is valued and protected for what it can do for readers, not so much what it does for the writers, but I would say otherwise. Brandt suggests that writing literacy take a different course from reading literacy because of the ways it has been sponsored and valued, and how it might alter the ways literacy develops throughout society. Although both courses are changing, we will still “learn to write by writing and by writing to other people who also write…” and “We will read in order to write.” Ultimately, everything ties back to writing, but I would not go so far as to say that reading is being undone by writing. If anything, when I’m writing, I’m doing even more reading. I use reading to create my writing, and I’m constantly reading my writing. It’s an endless cycle.

2 thoughts to “Deborah Brandt Reflection”

  1. I really like how you aren’t afraid to disagree with some of the points made in the reading. You really dissect the meaning behind the quote, “writing has a more direct transactional value that reading” and back up your view with logical and personal evidence. I’d like to hear more about how when you write you are doing even more reading. Do you mean that in order to write you must have knowledge on the topic which you gain through reading? I’m interested to hear more!

  2. You did a great job framing your argument using evidence from the readings. I definitely agree with you that the transactional values of writing and reading are equal. It is difficult to prioritize one discipline over the other when they are interrelated in so many ways; you describe this interrelation as the “endless cycle” in your writing process, which is a great way of describing it. For Brandt to try and quantify two practices that are performed in such an “endless cycle” seems rather pointless.

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