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View Diary: National Novel Writing Month: Write a Book in 30 Days! (117 comments)

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  •  I would agree with you if this had (5+ / 0-)

    anything to do with turning out books for publication. This is an exercise; nothing more. I think it has little to do with the proliferation of crap in reading material. The invention of the word processor had more of an impact on that problem.

    •  I take your point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soccergrandmom, Indexer

      but would add that it encourages people to think "in terms of publication" and also in terms of genre. Strangely, I had this heated conversation for about 4 hours with my husband the other night (we're both English academics, so this isn't all that out of the ordinary). We wound up basically at the bookshelf shouting about Habermas, Lyotard, I was trying to cite from John Hopkins, he was making appeals to 14th Century studies, finally we came to some agreement at Benjamin. And also, I was right.

      Of course it's never about being right!

      But it's certainly never about being wrong.

      I think we should have thrown a bit of Barthes and Todorov into the fracas.

      So it's a complex argument, but it knee-jerked me.

      I (and many, many others) feel that Creative Writing programs by and large destroy writers. I'm somewhere between Thoreau and Baudrillard (ha) here. I make this argument because I love it.

      I don't think writing should be relegated to the ranks of self-help or thought of in terms of output. Or even author. That's not to say good books are never written by contemporary genre authors. Obviously they are. But I must take a tempered political stand here for the two things I deeply care for: fiction and politics.

      "Heidegger? But I didn't even know her!"

      by mahakali overdrive on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 01:52:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if it's this kind of thing that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        encourages people to think about genre or society at large which has elevated the commercial low-brow and middle-brow above all else. Those things have their place and I, for one, love pulp fiction. But I don't confuse it for anything but what it is.

        •  I hate that writing is written... (0+ / 0-)

          so that it fits in the already-created genre sections picked out by the bookstore.

          You couldn't get Proust published today. Proust could barely get Proust published today. To say nothing of like, Tristram Shandy or Tom Jones, even Ginsberg would struggle. Woolf and her eyeless-play-poems wouldn't fit a Creative Writing course OR Barnes and Noble.

          And people have begun to think inside of that box. They think, "I'm freeing my mind," when they're thinking through that framework of what you called low-brow (which I'm fine with: it's the confines of genre and the proliferation of endless reams of... words... that appall me).

          "Heidegger? But I didn't even know her!"

          by mahakali overdrive on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 02:06:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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