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To Our Own Devices�

Bowers, Paul Alan
For those interested in creative writing, most critical approaches seem inappropriate to the making of fiction. Criticism belongs more to the reader than the writer, since to be a critic is to describe what is already on the page, while the creative writer needs to know how to compose a fiction. To say Sherwood Anderson's story, "Adventure," is about loneliness, or the lack of communication between human beings, may serve as the thesis for a critical essay, but it does not tell us much about how Anderson wrote the story, or why Alice Hindman's frantic dash into the street should evoke a theme of loneliness. The notion of "theme," while useful for a reader, may create problems for a writer who is overly concerned with "meaning."