Notes and Thoughts

The journey from raw thoughts to blogposts


Cultural artefacts to improve the resonance and life expectancy of your writing

Cultural additions like one's philosophical inclinations, directed social interactions through common social artefacts, etc can add personal touch to the essays,which not only elevates the engagement but also the life expectancy of an essay. Take any essay by Orwell from As I Please during his time in The Tribune, or his other essays.

Example: Apart from the quirky and chirpy attitude, what makes this this Application to New Yorker for a Job by Eudora Welty so memorable in my opinion is her use of common social artefacts like subtle mention of her background and its significance in how it relates to her being in this position right now;

…I am 23 years old, six weeks on the loose in N.Y. However, I was a New Yorker for a whole year in 1930– 31 while attending advertising classes in Columbia’s School of Business. Actually I am a southerner, from Mississippi, the nation’s most backward state. Ramifications include Walter H. Page, who, unluckily for me, is no longer connected with Doubleday-Page, which is no longer Doubleday-Page, even. I have a B.A. (’ 29) from the University of Wisconsin, where I majored in English without a care in the world. For the last eighteen months I was languishing in my own office in a radio station in Jackson, Miss., writing continuities, dramas, mule feed advertisements, santa claus talks, and life insurance playlets; now I have given that up….

The witty use of what I like to call a socio-cultural confabulation in the form of a movie review and a relatable but madeup word that is also original in a sense.

…As to what I might do for you— I have seen an untoward amount of picture galleries and 15¢ movies lately, and could review them with my old prosperous detachment, I think; in fact, I recently coined a general word for Matisse’s pictures after seeing his latest at the Marie Harriman: concubineapple. That shows you how my mind works—quick, and away from the point. I read simply voraciously, and can drum up an opinion afterwards…

The mention of India print and subtle showcase of how she knows the struggles in the industry without any explicit mention.

…Since I have bought an India print, and a large number of phonograph records from a Mr. Nussbaum who picks them up, and a Cezanne Bathers one inch long (that shows you I read e. e. cummings I hope), I am anxious to have an apartment, not to mention a small portable phonograph. How I would like to work for you! A little paragraph each morning— a little paragraph each night, if you can’t hire me from daylight to dark, although I would work like a slave. I can also draw like Mr. Thurber, in case he goes off the deep end. I have studied flower painting…

And the final invocation of the extremely common social contruct i.e., the leprechaun throw.

There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down; I realize this will not phase you, but consider my other alternative: the U of N.C. offers for $12.00 to let me dance in Vachel Lindsay’s Congo. I congo on. I rest my case, repeating that I am a hard worker.

This may not have been the best application in a formal sense, but the reason people go to it is probably because what it reminds them of — the cultural nostalgia (the shared social artefact).

Another type of common artefact is sincere immitation of great works, the sincere admiration can help with the remembrance. Related: Sincere imitation is authentic


Incorporation of common artefacts might also help with remebering and understanding it easily when you read them years later. To put it succintly, it help you Write so your future self can remember


Orwell, George. (1930s). As I Please, The Tribune

Virginia Woolf. (1921). Monday and TuesdayGuten

Welty, Eudora. Application to New Yorker for a Job