Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Gores missed the synedoche

From: Don Lee (
Date: 05 Mar 2009

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    Again, just my perspective, but MFA programs (too often) generate writers who write for non-paying lit journals, publishing in which is how you build a vita to get a job teaching writing in the MFA programs that will hire you to teach students to write "workshop" stories so they can get published in non-paying lit journals, which... Well, you get the point.

    Poetry is different. Nobody but Bukowski has made any money writing poetry for 50 years, and he's dead. But fiction has this huge or at least substantial *paying* market, if only writing programs would bend their idealistic/unrealistic view of what constitutes "worthwhile" fiction, etc. But they don't. They have staked out their terrain and guard it jealously.

    And of course I speak in broad generalizations...


    --- On Thu, 3/5/09, jacquesdebierue <> wrote: From: jacquesdebierue <> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Gores missed the synedoche To: Date: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 7:17 PM

                --- In rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com, Don Lee <donthepoet@ ...> wrote:


    > I certainly would hope there are more enlightened programs than the one I was in. Since culture tends to trickle inward from both coasts, I'd say a writing program in the midwest in the early 90s probably *was* about 20 years behind the times, at least, so the negative response Gores received at Stanford Way Back When was very likely the same kind of thinking that caused my friend his problems at the U of A 15 years ago here in the Bible Belt. Sadly.


    In my opinion, if you try to teach someone the craft without regard for who his readers might be, i.e., who might want to read what the writer has to say, you are being totally myopic. A writer without an audience is invisible. Show me an author who doesn't want to be read and who doesn't want to sell...

    Actually, a more realistic position, considering that people need jobs, would be to make sure that each student can use the pen to earn some money.

    Utterly ridiculous, all of it.









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