Jan 17, 2010, 1:58 AM
I don't get this anti-mfa thing either. There are tons of articles about the subject most which are full of poorly formed arguments and bat shit crazy logic. I mean, a lot of the books I read DO LIST on the jacket covers where authors got their MFAs. So, what? You can't list your MFA to get your foot in the door with an agent or a publisher but it's okay to stick it on your book? Like anybody knows or cares? "Iowa? What the hell? They got writers in Iowa?"
Re: [Colder] MFAs and getting published
The hackneyed argument that MFA programs are destroying literature because it stifles originality and produces competent yet uninspired writers producing the same drivel rests largely on a few flimsy assumptions:
1) All MFA graduates become writers/continue to write
(Even directors of some MFA programs admit that less than 50% of their students will ever publish anything or continue to write seriously. Yes, there is probably more crap out there today but to blame this entirely on MFA grads is sort of silly. And it's been said before - a lot of people in MFA programs are still figuring out if they even want to be a writer.)
2) MFA programs directly influence a writers success/failure
(Nobody can prove this. Most writers don't "break out" until years and years after graduating and by then who can say what made that writer great or not so great)
3) Literature as defined only by "the establishment"
(Maybe there are a lot of well-crafted "wife cheats on husband on a Kansas farm while their daughter experiments with lesbianism" stories in some of the stodgier literary journals BUT some of the freshest writing can be found in the pages of journals based at MFA programs. And then there are the indie publishers (and publishers associated with journals) that do literary writers a wicked solid. Also, last I checked, large publishing houses found it quite difficult to sell literary novels (forget about short stories) that didn't include vampires, child soldiers or tucker max pina colada butt lotion date stories to the general public. So, who is to blame there? Society at large for letting our educational system go down the toilet? Grand Theft Auto? Fannie Mae and their buddies for helping us fall ass backwards into a recession? The Nosferatu? What is literature today anyway?
I also really want this camera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JYhCp3eYMY
A projector on a digital camera? Sounds like a nice way to advertise to the world that you have an MFA. Take it to cocktail parties and project it on walls in big flashing letters.
(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Jan 17, 2010, 2:07 AM)