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    #1

    meaning of "cornering"

    Dear Teachers,

    I read these two paragraphs from The Right to Write by Julia Cameron:

    1. We have an idea that "writers" must be "smart". By smart, we actually mean "clever". We know what clever looks like, it is the Maserati turn of a phrase, the cornering ofa comment with a speed and grace the rest of us can't handle.

    2. For many of us, writing has been reserved for Sunday repairs. We "repair" to the page (there's a writery bit of cornering) to examine some sharp pain, to see if we can express an extreme emotion.

    What dose cornering mean in these contexts?

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    #2

    Re: meaning of "cornering"

    1. We have an idea that "writers" must be "smart". By smart, we actually mean "clever". We know what clever looks like, it is the Maserati turn of a phrase, the cornering of a comment with a speed and grace the rest of us can't handle.

    2. For many of us, writing has been reserved for Sunday repairs. We "repair" to the page (there's a writery bit of cornering) to examine some sharp pain, to see if we can express an extreme emotion.

    What does cornering mean in these contexts?


    I assume these two excerpts are quite close together in the original text, because the second one relies on the first to have much meaning.
    The analogy here is between the "turn of phrase", which means a certain way of expressing something, and the "turning of a corner" as one might while driving a sports car, like a Maserati. A turn of phrase can be nice or colourful, for example, or awkward, clumsy.
    (1) is saying that we expect a good writer to manage a turn of phrase with the qualities we might expect from a sports car turning a corner; smooth, graceful and definitely not awkward.
    (2) is more difficult and I'm not entirely sure what is meant by "Sunday repairs", but it may refer to using writing as a way of examining and improving oneself. So I think it is making a play on words with the two meanings of "repair".
    repair = to fix, to heal, put right (let's repair this broken chair; let's repair relations between our families).
    repair = to go to a place (we used to repair to the country every weekend)… a more old-fashioned usage.
    So I think (2) is suggesting that the "clever" use of repair with these two meanings almost in the same breath, is an example of a "writery" (as expected from a writer) turn of phrase, a smooth bit of cornering.

    But it does feel a little forced and someone else might have another view of this.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by JMurray; 30-Jun-2012 at 09:49.

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