Saturday, June 13, 2015

How Iowa Flattened Literature - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

How Iowa Flattened Literature - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

I'm going to dig through this more. But from the comments, this struck me as interesting:

"Outsiders are who move culture in new ways. Also, the explosive growth of CW with it's emphasis on biography brings people who are not necessarily writers, to work out their traumas and often the story never ends. CW programs create false hope for many. I suffered as a poverty-stricken adjunct prof for 20 years hoping that the" never give up" idea would finally pay off. It never did. 
That's my problem; my writing was either too weird or no good or too full of personal trauma that I tried to disguise in magical realism as best I could. When I was applying to CW programs, I was driving a school bus, and there was another guy, about my age, who thought of himself as a writer. 
He didn't want anything to do with CE programs and thought I was a fool for buying into it and he just pumped out writing. Don't know what happened to him He never made it either, never saw his name anywhere, but he, I think, had more of a chance because he was being authentic."
Often I am more interested in the comments than the article itself. I go to the comments first, then go back and read. The comments inform my opinion. Trying not to do this but it's a deep influence on anything we read online. I almost have more respect/irritation at any article that turns off comments. . . 

1 comment:

  1. I think it's true for most writers that we are drawn to write the stories that we are telling ourselves. Jane Yollen writes in "Touch Magic" that stories are truths authors tell themselves disguised as moral truths about the world.

    Creative Writing programs focusing on memoir simply take the latent content of fiction and make it more manifest.

    Having only read this excerpt and not the linked article, it sounds like A) the commentator believes that some people can write and others can't, B) for twenty years, the commentator apparently confused writing-therapy with writing-for-markets, C) the commentator has created the "I'm too X" narrative for him/herself.