Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Wednesday Web Browser: Creative Writing Classes, Richard Ford, and a Not-So-Surprising Study

There's a lot to think about in Dan Barden's "rant against creative writing classes," published in the new Poets & Writers magazine and available online.
This week's New Yorker includes a Richard Ford story, "Leaving for Kenosha." An example of something I'm sure will grow as time passes: "post-Katrina lit."
And from the department of is-this-really-news: The New York Times reports on a new study that tells us--get this--"that a significant proportion of American teenagers live in 'stunning ignorance' of history and literature, according to the group that commissioned it." Please don't get me started on my too-personal acquaintance with the sad facts that a) this "stunning ignorance" is not new and therefore not directly attributable to No Child Left Behind and b) far from being limited to high schoolers, this ignorance is shared by far too many college students (yes, even at Harvard) and, oh, maybe even by certain MFA students who seem to think they can write masterpieces with virtually no awareness of history or literature (not to mention their confidence in critiquing historical fiction that they don't even realize is historical fiction).


Felicity said...

As a non-traditional undergrad English student currently taking a Creative Writing class, Barden's article was fascinating!

Also, by they way, thanks for last week's tip on the NYTimes essay contest.

Erika D. said...

Thanks for the comment, Felicity, and good luck w/the contest, if you choose to enter it.