The recent banter about MFA programs strikes me as this List's knee-jerk anti-academic contingent rearing its head again. But don't let me stop you: bash away, and please don't spare the sweeping generalizations.
It may be worth remembering that MFA programs are by their nature highly hermetic. One pursues an MFA if one wants to be an MFA-type writer; is this fact either a big secret or nonsensical? Attending an MFA program if one wants to be a popular or "genre" writer makes about as much sense as attending a culinary institute if one wants to be a fireman. (Note: the term "genre" is not one I like, but I'm quoting at least one other Avian who's used that term in this thread.)
I like to read all kinds of books, and I make my own decisions about what's worth reading. I did my Ph.D. in English Literature at an Ivy League university, but I can also tell you the best comics shop in most major cities in the world. Honestly, the frequent spastic responses to academe or "high culture" on this List make me wonder about some members' personal senses of security or self-worth. Do we really need MFA programs to validate writers of hard-boiled crime novels? Why?
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