essay in rtf format
This past May I found a review of Mark McGurl's new book, The Program
Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing, in a recent
issue of The New Criterion that so well reflected my experience of
creative writing programs and the writers that emerge from them~to
say nothing of writers workshops and writers groups and what might
be called the collectivization of writing~that I sent along a link
to it to a number of my literary colleagues.
The responses, especially one series that turned into a very long
thread of emails dashed off between more urgent tasks, proved so engaging,
for myself at least, that I thought it might prove of some use to
make them public. So, below, with some mostly minor
and fixes, you will find most of the emails of that exchange,
leaving out only a few brief replies that were erased early on.
The principal emailers were the New York-based art critic and theorist
John Haber; composer, writer, and theorist Andrew Towne (San Diego);
China scholar and writer on technology (part American, part English;
now based in Hong Kong) Danyll Wills; and myself.
Hello my fellow writers and others concerned with the state of modern
language and letters,