Reading Response for 11/1

“Memory and Imagination” by Patricia Hampl p. 454


29 thoughts on “Reading Response for 11/1

  1. What does Hampl mean when she says that the heart is the boss of writing?
    Why would a careful first draft be considered a failed first draft?
    I know that people often add imagination or details that did not happen to stories to make them more believable or even more entertaining. I am one of those people.

  2. At the beginning of the piece, why does Hampl continuously use the word “tortured” (I asked my musical friend and she said she had never heard it to specifically describe music)?
    Why is it only after writing the piano lesson story that she begins to doubt her memory?
    I think that she did a good job capturing the world through the eyes of a child with her piano lesson story.
    -Becky B.

  3. What triggered Patricia Hampl’s memory of the piano lesson?
    How does Hampl “write in order to find out what I know”?
    I liked the analogy Hampl used comparing the cat to a reader and a dog to a writer.

  4. Why do you think Patricia’s piano lesson stuck out so much to her?

    If you cannot remember something, how are you suppose to write about it?

    I thought it was interesting that simply writing about her first piano lesson opened up a whole new way for her to see music.

  5. Why does Hampl keep refering to her dad’s violin playing as torture?

    Why did Hampl want to express her admiration for Mary Katherine Reilly?

    I dont get why she keeps bringing up questioning authority when she is talking about writing and piano lessons.

  6. Why is her first piano lesson so memorable for her? Why did it stick with her so well?

    Why does she compare the reader as a cat?

    I thought this was interesting to read and sort of relatable because I used to play the piano.

  7. Nowadays children are pushed into their parents interests whether it be sports, music, etc. Do you think Hampl was pushed into taking the piano lesson? Because describing her father’s music as “torture” doesn’t exactly seem too positive.

    Why would she want to engage in a friendship with someone whom she believes to be far superior to herself? And she even says she wanted to become Mary Katherine Reilly’s “vassal.”

    I found that the passage gave me an interesting perspective on other’s thoughts and ideas. I found some of the ways she approached her writing to be very interesting, and I can relate because I also played piano for a short while.

    Louie Copley

  8. What does it mean when she said that the writing of a story is a matter of transcription?
    What are the “lies” of the piece?
    I understand a lot of what she is going through because I play the piano.

    Michelle Wu

  9. Why does Hampl not enjoy her father playing the violin?

    Why is this first piano lesson so engraved in her head?

    It seems that Hampl only cares about herself and her music rather then listening to her father for example. Its as if she is only focused on herself and her first lesson.

  10. Are any memories perfectly recorded?
    Why does Hampl start the text with an anecdote that she later claims to be false?
    I agreed with Hampl’s line that what is remembered becomes reality, or at least in our minds.

  11. She said she did not “choose” to remember the piano lesson, how do we choose what we remember and don’t remember?

    Why do certain memories stick out in our minds while others do not?

    Once again the author lets anything go in her first draft. This seems to be a technique used by a good numbers of authors.

  12. What her father really that bad at playing the violin?
    Why was the piano lesson so significant that she remembered it after so long?

    Most long term memories come from significant events in our lives, i guess she must have really loved to play piano.

  13. Andrew Miller

    Why does Hampl refer to her duets
    in front of her family as “tortured” when she in fact seems to enjoy the support/attention, claiming they “all melted a little into each other for a moment?”

    Did her father leave her to discover playing the piano as she believes, or did he force her to discover it?

    I though Hampl writes in a very descriptive manner that is unlike a lot of authors. She also uses subtle humor in that is just enough to keep you entertained, like the olive comparison.

  14. Renee Lemire
    On page 456, in the beginning of the sixth paragraph, does Hampl mean the “myth” mentioned in that paragraph, the transcription of the memory or about “the story being there in history?”

    What does Hampl really mean when she says “what is remembered is what becomes reality.” isn’t reality the present and how you interpret it and live it?

    I really understand and like when Hampl said “we only store in memory images of value.” That could never be more true.

  15. Why is she afraid of the “blank white page?”
    Why was the piano such a significant memory?
    I agree how we write “a version rather than the whole truth.”

  16. Why was her first piano lesson so memorable?

    What is it about the violin that she dislikes so much?

    I played the piano a little when I was younger so I can relate to her.

  17. Why does she think her father is bad at playing the violin?

    Why is playing the piano viewed so negatively?

    I think this story was interesting, because I have a lot of musically inclined friends and I feel like this could accurately portray half of my friends lives.

  18. Why is the piano lesson so important to her ?

    Why she does not like the violin

    She loves to bring up tons of questions

  19. How can one piano lesson affect her so much?

    What is the author’s definition of reality?

    I’m not musically talented so this writing was very interesting and I got to see things from a new perspective.

    Christie Gleason

  20. Why does Hampl use the word tortured so much?
    How many people are taught to play piano in a church basement by a nun?
    I learned piano when I was a kid. Even though I quit piano for oboe instead, I’ve never had a bad experience playing piano.

  21. What is the significance of the piano lesson?

    What’s with the cat thing?

    I love the ideo of writing style about music, it was very interesting

    Leoits Boswell-Johnson

  22. Why was there so much emphasis on the different notes in the 4th paragraph?

    What’s the meaning behind the piano lesson?

    It was interesting to read about how a piano lesson had such an affect on one’s life.

  23. What is the meaning for the hatred of the violin?
    Why do you think one piano lesson can make such a large impact?
    I wish I played the piano.

  24. Is the memory of the piano lesson important because of her dad?

    What made Hampl hate the violin so much?

    I think everyone that took piano lessons did not enjoy them just like Hampl.

  25. I have completely forgotten my first piano lesson, does that say something about me?
    Why does Hampl remember her first piano lesson? What does it say about her?
    It was interesting to learn how her first lesson had a lasting impact on her life. I would say that my first soccer practice would have the most impact on my life.

  26. Why does she exaggerate in her memoir so much?
    Did what she exaggerate have particular meaning to her?
    I would be terrible at writing a memoir, I can barely remember what I ate for dinner yesterday.

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