I’ve always enjoyed the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest and their critical and hilarious critiques of heavy-metal rock and roll, community theatre, dog shows, folk music, and the entertainment industry. Exaggeration can be a component of a good piece of creative cultural criticism as the writer casts a satirical eye toward the customs and details of…

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I’m thinking about Thanksgiving this week, and the way my mother’s side of the family always gathered at someone’s home for dinner in those long-ago times when I was a boy. For those of you unaware of the ways of rural southeastern Illinois, that was the meal we ate at noon. The evening meal was…

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We’ve had a beautiful weekend here in Columbus, Ohio. Plenty of sunshine and temperatures approaching 70. The trees are almost bare now; only a few are being stubborn and refusing to let their red leaves fall to the ground. It was the perfect sort of weekend for the writing assignment I gave my advanced undergraduate…

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In light of all the controversy lately involving the manipulation of facts in creative nonfiction, I’ve come up with a writing exercise to force us to stay true to documented information and to use it for the exploration of material in which we have a personal stake, material we’ll come at slantwise, much in the…

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