Jan 17, 2010, 6:15 PM
Re: [WanderingTree] MFAs and getting published
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?"
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"
I agree with all that, WT. So what do you think you would do? Would you mention your MFA/MFA candidacy in your letters?
Btw, "wife cheats on husband on a Kansas farm while their daughter experiments with lesbianism," I like those stories, heh.
(This post was edited by Colder on Jan 17, 2010, 6:17 PM)