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Dammit. Am writing a lecture and would like to look at what I remember as a Benjamin Kunkel review of a new history of the literature MFA in America, Flannery O’Connor at Iowa and the like. Cannot find it anywhere! Can anyone remember the name of the book? Came out, or at least was reviewed, in the early summer.

Really hate it when all of the many search devices (google, spotlight, etc) at once act like it’s my job or failing that your job to remember stuff. Jesus.


Written by adswithoutproducts

November 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses

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  1. Would that be Mark McGurl, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing?


    November 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    • superb old friend! just what I was looking for! hope all is well in gotham!


      November 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      • Btw, if you want to cheat, he wrote a much shorter version of it as an article for Critical Inquiry a while back, though Kunkel’s review may be an even more efficient way to cheat.


        November 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      • Even better. I’m telling them about all of fiction since 1945. It seems to be that the inflection point in the story of this fiction stuff in america comes with the advent of the MFA. So this should be helpful!


        November 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

  2. might be worth googling up Louis Menand’s take on it from the New Yorker too


    November 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm

  3. You’re thinking of Mark Greif’s Bookforum review, I think…


    November 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    • Dammit! You’re absolute right! That’s why I couldn’t find it! N+1 editor confusion!


      November 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm

  4. Only semi-related, but heard a joke the other day about how if they ever passed universal healthcare here in the states, the whole MFA racket would fall down, as there’d no longer be any impetus to find teaching work..


    November 18, 2009 at 7:01 pm

  5. As someone who has an MFA, I can tell you that most of what is written about MFA programs is a load of bollocks. Just FYI.


    November 19, 2009 at 2:10 am

  6. I’m using McGurl as a text for my course this term: it’s a writing workshop! I am calling it the meta-workshop. The striking outcome: everybody keeps writing poems about writing poems. I mean, more than usual.


    November 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm

  7. Hey! That was the Bookforum review I sent you a couple months ago coz I thought you’d like it… ‘Is the writing workshop a crucible for an aesthetic based on shame?’. Mark Grief on Mark McGurl. HA. Nice.

    Little Red

    November 19, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    • Oh no. Are you suggesting that I forget whom to credit with things like this?


      November 20, 2009 at 12:02 am

  8. Your MFA query made me think of this post that I read a few months ago:


    November 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm

  9. Your MFA query made me think of a post that I read earlier this year:


    November 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm

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