I smiled immediately when I saw the title of one of NewPages.com’s latest book reviews: First We Read, Then We Write. You see, quite a few years ago, my sister and I played “school” quite often. I, of course, played the role of the teacher. Since our childhood predated video cameras or cell phones-with-cameras, all we have now to replay these scenes, in addition to our memories, is an audio tape recording of one of these “sessions.” This tape was made when I was seven, and my sister was half that age. And if you listen to that recording, as we still do from time to time, you’ll hear my bossy self admonishing my “student”: “First we read, then we write.” (I’m sorry to admit that that line is a lot kinder that some of my other utterances to my preschooler sibling: “That is scribble-scrabble! You get a C-plus on [writing] your name!” and “Don’t do that, dodo-bird!” As if anticipating parental scolding once the tape was played back, I quickly corrected myself: “I mean, not dodo-bird. Sweetie-pie.”)
So I’ll simply have to take a look at this new book, written by Robert D. Richardson and reviewed, in this instance, by John Madera. Alas, the book is not about me and my early teaching “philosophy.” Rather, it is subtitled: “Emerson and the Creative Process.” According to the review, the book “fill[s] a gap in Emerson’s oeuvre by compiling the famed essayist’s reflections, asides, margin jottings on the art and craft of writing.” Given my positive experiences with similar books inspired by Anton Chekhov and Virginia Woolf, that sure sounds good to me!
P.S. Fortunately, I didn’t destroy my sister’s academic self-esteem all those years ago. She did learn to write, after all! No more scribble-scrabble! Check out her blog, MyMomShops, where she shares stylish and often discounted online finds (and giveaways) for moms, tots, and those who love them!