Risto Niemi-Pynttäri

Creativity and publicity

Posted in Kirjoittamisen tutkimus by RniemiP on Toukokuu 8, 2011

The 2nd International Conference on Creativity and Writing 2010, Orivesi, Finland, articles are now published.

My article ”Creativity and publicity” asks where is the place of creativity – and the answer is hidden in the relation of writer and audience, and how the writer imagines the audience. It is in chapter 3 of my article.

3. Creative relation at the audience

It has been asked: why making illusions of imagined reader, why not writing at the real
readers. The writer must imagine the reader because the audience is not present when she
writes. Even in weblogs the writer is not in direct contact with real readers. This opens
possibilities to imagine the audience in a creative way. The rhetoric of writing considers these
possibilities that imaging the audience opens, and interactive writing in the web makes new
situation for these old questions.

The strategy of focusing public words at one hypothetical listener is well known in classical
rhetoric. In recent media theories the same thing is called speaking at anyone as someone.
When for example the political speech is delivered in public meeting, this publicity is also
implied in the speech. But in writing it is possible to use personal vocabulary, to speak at one
person, because the public audience is not present, and the person reads the text alone. The
modern publicity is mediated, the public is open for anyone but it can be personalized
for-anyone-as-someone. It is important to notice that this implies always double way to focus
at readers: there is one implied reader, but at the same time there is audience of many readers.
(Scannell 2000).

Because the audience is not factual and present, there is an open space between writer and
reader. So the writer can create the figure she is speaking at. It is easy to use the word “you”
in narration, as speaking at anyone as someone. But there are much more nuanced ways to
create implied reader as if sharing common emotions and attitudes with narrated things. The
possibility of imagining reader moves in free space that is full of figures created by literary
prose. They are figures of readers according the genres of narration. If the writer is also
reader her narration can develop unconsciously these figures of readers mixed with her own
… the whole article is here.