To tell the truth

“The problem isn’t that MFA programs homogenize fiction, or that they churn out novelists the way Detroit churns out automobiles, but that they make publication seem like every writer’s apotheosis. The publication of a book doesn’t ipso facto turn the author into an artist—the book’s mind and language have to be original and bold. Literature isn’t a children’s foot race; you don’t a get a medal simply for participating. MFA programs are useful because they allow what every writer needs most: time. But they can be poisonous in their system of false approval—a completely truthful instructor, herself fresh from an MFA, won’t stay employed very long—and in the outsized expectations they foster in their flocks.” — William Giraldi, “Letter to a Young Critic”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.