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SCAD Student Life

Professor James Lough discusses idea of surprise at SCAD Story Hour

District Staff

By Emily Sanders

For this quarter’s Story Hour, SCAD showcased writing Professor James Lough, and one of his novels “Short Circuits”. The book is a collection of aphorisms from various writers, including Lough himself.

He lectured about the idea of surprise, and how the stimulant of a twist is good for the brain. For example, it “improves the state of well being, makes them more open, and helps them operate without conflict,” Lough explains. The process is as scientific as it is creative, and through short novels, flash fictions and aphorisms people are more intrigued in types of writing that stimulate their brain.

Lough and poetry Professor Andrea Brandt went back and forth on the logistics of these aphorisms, read examples from the novel itself, and compared the statements to other aspects of life. They reflect on a state of being, as something people can relate to. Especially on Twitter, being the running joke of the lecture. The best ones seemed to have a biting twist or humor to them that made people think or reflect on what it was poking fun at. “It’s not the words, it’s all in the implications outside the frame. The best [aphorisms] imply so much more than just what is inside the framing idea,” Lough said.

Students and professors alike in the audience were able to have a Q-and-A session after the lecture, inquiring about all kinds of technical questions from the actual writing of these aphorisms, to the longevity of them in the future. There was so much information in just one short hour, it was truly something to keep in mind for current and future writers. Aphorisms were explained and broken down in every way, and in the end were proven to be an upcoming way for people to continuously get points across to future generations and hold their attention better than longer novels and works may be able to as time goes on.

With a final piece of advice for writers everywhere, Lough said, “Figure out what you have to say. What do you care about? Find your passions, and start writing.”


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