webshells.com/nwuco Forum

Re: Leaflets
Author Carrol Cox
Date 00/09/10/10:46
Hit Count 715

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:

> Good leaflets are very connected with essays. If an essay (at least
> an essay in the tradition of the creator of the species, the French
> Montaigne) is an attempt to pose the adequate questions that arise
> from a concrete issue in everyday life, a leaflet is an attempt to
> expose the most abstract relations and concepts that underlie a
> concrete issue in everyday life, and, what's more, in a very limited
> space.
> Leaflet writing is in fact a literary specialty in its own right,
> strongly linked with journalism and editorializing. Good leaflets can
> be excellent editorials in a newspaper, and good editorials in a
> newspaper can be transformed into a leaflet.

I would like to underline a distinction implicit in that last sentence.
It is true, I think, that a good leaflet could *be* a good editorial.
I don't think, however, that an editorial could *be* a good
leaflet, though as Nestor says it might often be *transformed*
into a good leaflet. In my own experience editorials or columns
for newsletters (I have no experience with full-fledged
newspapers) are much easier to write than leaflets. The writer
of an editorial has two advantages which make the task easier.
First of all, he/she can merely assume a readership -- it is
the newspaper as a whole, issue after issue, that attracts
the reader, who has purchased the newspaper presumably
with intention to read. Secondly, the editorial need not
introduce (announce the existence of) its subject matter
but can assume knowledge of it.

The leaflet is nearly unique among literary genres in that it
must virtually create its audience -- and do so with its
headline and the first line or two of text. One possible way
to image this difference is to suggest that if someone
producing a newspaper or newsletter in Baltimore or
even Lyons or Manila were to ask me to write an editorial
on some particular topic, I might be able to do so. Were
someone from those locations ask me (or anyone at a
distance) to write a leaflet for them, one would hardly
know where to begin. I was just beginning to get the hang
of leaflet writing in the late '60s and early '70s when the
occasions for writing them began to fade away.

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