Journal Task #4 – Sonder

This term, we’re beginning to study the life and work of the Bard himself, grappling with what, where, when, why and how he wrote the poetry and plays that continue to permeate our modern culture. Shakespeare is famous for his philosophical one-liners, classic characters and epic stories that find their way into our lives and hearts.

If you delve into Shakespeare’s stories and push away the flowery language and complex storylines, you’ll find his commentary about people and their reactions to the world around them. In that spirit, your first journal prompt for this term asks you to think about people and their stories. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows seeks to coin words for obscure, complex feelings that we experience every day but don’t have a way to express. John Koenig has coined the word ‘sonder’ to describe ‘the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own‘. Watch the video and use it as a prompt to tell a story of a passerby. Where do you see this passerby? What brought them there? Where are they going? What are they thinking about?

This task should be between 400 – 500 words and is due to be uploaded on Thursday 7th May. Have fun!

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