"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why am I doing this? Shall I commit suicide?

"One of the things you notice is that when you switch on the television and a student has gone mad with a machine gun on a campus in America, it's always a writing student. The writing courses, particularly when they have the word 'creative' in them, are the new mental hospitals. But the people are very nice."

Hanif Kureishi at the Guardian. It's a fun way to get attention, but I think his criticism of creative writing courses is valid -- that they give the false impression of a literary career to follow. I couldn't get through the one book of his I tried, The Buddha of Suburbia.

Also, I think it's sometimes math students.


Sue said...

Maybe it depends on what you mean by a literary "career" -- if it's a job that is somehow related to the field or if it's a cozy spot as a bestselling author.

Zen of Writing said...

Possibly, nobody would pay the $$$ tuition if they didn't harbor the bestselling author fantasy. I don't know whose fault that is, but I remember reading what cash cows the creative writing courses can be. No expensive equipment, and students forking over the same big checks. High profile, too, if the school can afford big names.