RARA-AVIS: Re: Gores missed the synedoche

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 06 Mar 2009

  • Next message: Don Lee: "RARA-AVIS: MFA programs"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Mark D. Nevins" <nevins_mark@...> wrote:
    > 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;<

    And what is that? The term says nothing to me. It's like saying that one studies physics if one wants to be a Department of Physics type of physicist..

    <<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.)>>

    Are you seriously suggesting that the writers who study at MFA programs don't want to be popular? The analogy with culinary institute is not valid: those guys want to be cooks, they learn tricks. The don't go there to be peripheral figures, they want to kick ass and also to make money. What's different about writers?

    > 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?

    I can only speak for myself, but I think you're misinterpreting the skepticism for scorn. The description that was given by the original poster is totally ridiculous to me. It sounds like you want to write stories that sell, and that's bad!



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Mar 2009 EST