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#80216
Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (A).

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (B):

Answer choice (C):

Answer choice (D):

Answer choice (E):


This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
 Johnclem
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#27245
Hello.
Could someone please tell me why C is wrong ?
Wouldn't the author agree that these autobiographies were not authentic because they left out information ? ( line 25-27).

Thanks
John
 Clay Cooper
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#27258
Hi Johnclem,

Thanks for your question.

I think you are correct in that the possibility that some relevant information was left out by the authors of these questionable autobiographies is part of the concern voiced by the author of this passage, but not all of it; furthermore, I don't think the term "extraneous" reflects a concern that things are left out. The word means unnecessary, extra, superfluous; I think, as applied here, it would only be correct if the author's concern could best be summarized by saying that he or she worries that the authors of these autobiographies tended to add information that did not in fact belong (was "extraneous").

I think the word "ostensible" is much more applicable to the author of the passage's concern here; he does not seem convinced that the people who were credited with authoring these autobiographies actually had the most meaningful contributions to the narratives; he seems to believe the idea that the questionable autobiographies were "ostensibl[y]" authored by their illiterate subjects but were in fact much more influenced by the so-called transcribers than has previously been observed.

Does that make sense?
 BMM2021
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#90285
Hi,

I had the same reasoning identified in Clay's response above, but I chose D ("delimits") instead. Honestly, I just had trouble interpreting this question - it asks for the word that best underscores the author's concerns, not the word and surrounding passage context.

While I understand how the concept of ostensible authorship summarizes the point of the passage, the word ostensible itself implies something along the lines of "appearing to be true but not necessarily." However, the passage never claims that readers of these autobiographies believe (or are duped into assuming) that the subject of the autobiography and the author are one in the same; it is simply says that readers often buy into the presumption that an edited narrative is literarily the same as one written by the subject him/herself. It seems to me that the author's primary concern is that the bias/perspective of the real author alters the literary characteristics of the autobiography, and that is something readers and analysts need to take into account. With that in mind, I felt that "delimits" better defined the author's concern regarding the narrators' handling of a subject's story - the author would deem a "delimited" editor's work more authentic, as mentioned in the third paragraph.

Ultimately, I didn't really like any of the words, I just thought delimit was better than ostensible in the abstract. So, should these kinds of questions be interpreted to mean that the surrounding context of the word's usage should be included in one's analysis?

Thanks,
Brian
 Jeremy Press
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#90344
Hi Brian,

"Delimits" doesn't work here, for two reasons. First, because the author is concerned about authenticity in cases other than ones in which the editor delimits his or her role. So, the word "delimits" wouldn't cover the author's concerns about authenticity in autobiographies when the editor does NOT delimit their role. Second, because the author seems to recognize that while it doesn't fully solve the problem of authenticity, "delimiting" your role as an editor does help a little bit in resurrecting some level of authenticity. After all, the author says that when the editor delimits their role, that "undoubtedly may be regarded as more authentic and reflective of the narrator's thought in action than those edited works that flesh out a statement of facts in ways unaccounted for." Since the delimiting process "fixes up" authenticity a little bit (at least), it's not a great descriptor to capture the author's concerns about authenticity in a more general sense.

Don't overcomplicate things with the word "ostensible." The meaning of the word contains the suggestion of something not being true (the authorship not being true), thus it fits the idea of authorship not being authentic, something the author of the passage is concerned about when it comes to authenticity (since the first sentence says such ostensible authorship "inevitably raises concerns about authenticity"). That's enough to pick it, whether or not every reader of a work would draw those conclusions.

I hope this helps!
 BMM2021
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#90546
Thanks, Jeremy. This definitely helps!

Jeremy Press wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:13 pm Hi Brian,

"Delimits" doesn't work here, for two reasons. First, because the author is concerned about authenticity in cases other than ones in which the editor delimits his or her role. So, the word "delimits" wouldn't cover the author's concerns about authenticity in autobiographies when the editor does NOT delimit their role. Second, because the author seems to recognize that while it doesn't fully solve the problem of authenticity fully, "delimiting" your role as an editor does help a little bit in resurrecting some level of authenticity. After all, the author says that when the editor delimits their role, that "undoubtedly may be regarded as more authentic and reflective of the narrator's thought in action than those edited works that flesh out a statement of facts in ways unaccounted for." Since the delimiting process "fixes up" authenticity a little bit (at least), it's not a great descriptor to capture the author's concerns about authenticity in a more general sense.

Don't overcomplicate things with the word "ostensible." The meaning of the word contains the suggestion of something not being true (the authorship not being true), thus it fits the idea of authorship not being authentic, something the author of the passage is concerned about when it comes to authenticity (since the first sentence says such ostensible authorship "inevitably raises concerns about authenticity"). That's enough to pick it, whether or not every reader of a work would draw those conclusions.

I hope this helps!
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 mab9178
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#97982
Hi

Would someone please rule out E, "impolitic"?

I honestly chose "ostensible" because of its out-of-context English definition. But I was very uncomfortable moving on, because "impolitic" is employed in sufficient/necessary ("f it seemed impolitic...") capacity that triggers the analogy to "escaped slaves" followed by a "...therefore" that concerns "the validity [of the] authenticity [being] difficult to determine ;" hence a causal relationship between a sense of impolitic on the part of the subject of the autobiography that would compromise the authenticity of the project!

if my interpretation of the lines around "impolitic," are accurate, then the author of the passage is concerned about the "ex salves" holding back what they know and think because of a sense of fear that what they had experienced might be "unwise" to share because of repercussions, which in turn would affect the authenticity.

So why does "impolitic" lose to "ostensible"?

Please and thank you
Mazen
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 Paul Popa
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#98353
Hi Mab,

To answer this question, we should focus specifically on what the question stem is asking and what the author said about the subject at hand. We're being asked to find a word that underscores, or emphasizes, the author's concerns about the authenticity of the autobiographies. This is a fairly specific question: what were the author's concerns? We see this discussed in the first sentence of the passage: it's the ostensible authorship of African American writers of the time that "raises concerns about authenticity." It seems fair then, that this best emphasizes what the author's concerns are: we're not sure if the claimed authorship is legitimate, and it's because of this uncertainty that concerns about authenticity arise.

"Impolitic" means unwise, and is used in the passage to discuss concerns that may have shaped what interviewees told their interviewers. The author never mentions that it is "unwise" to have concerns about the authenticity of the autobiographies in question, so (E) fails for that reason. Hope this helps!

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