Literacy as a solipsistic creative act



Part of the need to be explicit about what it is I am doing with my 50 words a day and the insistence that it is a private communication in a public space is the potential solipsism of it all.

Writing for an audience – my academic supervisor and people who will judge and classify my work – is fine. Writing for a publisher – despite its pretentions is also fine. After all – I have worked hard and how else do I ensure I reach the number and kinds of people I want to engage in this ‘ongoing conversation over time’. But writing for the ‘self’ is at odds.

And so I create and imagine an audience. Perhaps my ideal reader here is myself. Or people like me. Academics who seek out a space in between, the ‘hybridised’ third spaces.

I am interested and want to write at some point – once I elaborate upon my 6 part plan – about metaphor. There is danger here. But writing about metaphors for literacy appeals to me:

·         paradise, nightmare of red herring
·         quantifiable or cognitive skills or process
·         solipsistic creative act – a moment of aesthetic or creative commission
·         silver bullet the pierces the heart of economic decline
·         as craft
·         as labour
·         as semiotic production and cultural practice with specific ideological and material consequences

‘Each definition is legitimated, enacted and realised in the field text production and exchange.’ (Luke, 2008) p 78

I have really enjoyed this essay and want to read more. In reading I feel I have eaten a luscious 3 course meal. One that has combined taste and texture in beautiful surroundings.

I want to read more. My understanding ranges and does not feel complete – but this is good. I need to struggle with text and if I am not struggling then I feel as if I am not learning. It’s boring to read text that o can skit through and get. This text demands to be revisited and read and savoured a few times. It leaves me feeling both fulfilled and hungry.

I like his positioning of himself in the text. I am reminded of question of can I use I in my text. I am sure that Cameron, Ivanic and others have had this discussion. My emotional reaction is I want to know I am engaged with a person – that this is a social exchange – the refusal to name and locate seems a refusal to be present to engage.  Luke positions himself and describes his text as an intergenerational ‘gift’ given and received in an economy of exchange. Heteroglossic. A taking in turns across time and space, a mediated riposte.

It is something to do with trust and with my primordial need to trust the writer. Or at least to know who he is. It is also an attempt to make it clear that we exist within the academy.  It is not solipsistic.

He is searching in this text for a literacy pedagogy that does not recreate docile bodies, but one that creates productive, transformative and agentic literate subjects.

A positive pedagogic model.


LUKE, A. 2008. Pedagogy as gift. In: LUKE, A. & ALBRIGHT, J. (eds.) Pierre Bourdieu and Literacy Education. London: Routedge, Taylor & Francis.

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