Copying Minor White

Karen Schneider writes about her experiences imitating the style of four different writers.

This reminds me of my photography class at Rice. I took a photo of pile of dirty sand under a freeway, and when I printed it, it looked a lot like a Minor White. My prof, Peter Brown, saw the same thing in the print. He explained to the class that we should copy as much as we wanted while in school, because that didn’t work after you graduated.

My faux Minor White was an unconscious copy, but working in someone elses personal style sounds like a really valuable exercise. Maybe I should try Minor White’s style on purpose. He’s not my favorite, but I bet it isn’t as easy as it looks.

I won’t try to copy Peter Brown, because my style already leans in that direction. The closest I can find to a web page for Peter is the announcement that Peter Brown and Kent Haruf won the 2005 Lange-Taylor prize. Check out the photos there, then go get one of his books, maybe On the Plains.

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