Unit 6. Form & Content


Form & indhold

When one writes, there are two separate questions posed to the author, namely:
 What shall I write about? 
How should I describe it?


  1. Hvad skal jeg skrive om?
  2. Hvordan skal jeg (be)skrive?

These two questions are traditionally described respectively as the text’s form and content. The content is the text’s ‘what’ and the form is the ‘how’.

A general perspective is that we should write how we feel. In an authored text this supposes that the author is totally transparent. There is nothing to hide behind. We therefore, in some way, are always writing about ourselves. Thus the answer to the first question, “what should I write about”, is always the same: myself. This is a position of upmost honesty and a claim to authenticity. One is only ever to write about oneself. Once again here is a claim, such as ones we have previously considered, that stipulates a magical, indefinable but inescapable line.

When you write, you reflect yourself. This does not mean that you are incapable of describing what other people feel, or see, or hear, or think. It is just that in describing what others feel, or see, or hear, or think about, also describes yourself. This is our understanding of other people, our understanding of the correct, the good, the true and the beautiful. This philosophy can be considered in another, but equal manner.


Today’s ‘what’ is a description of sensuality. After eating, sex is the most important human desire. The literary text is therefore given an excellent starting point for this proposition.


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