Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Fish Receives Gift Horse, Looks in Mouth

January 19, 2008

Stanley Fish is at it again, this time writing about the virtual lack of a pragmatic answer to “what is the value of humanities studies?”  Here is his NY Times entry.  While he does raise a few good points and keeps the article on task (and he surprised me by some responses to comments”), I was left with the same feeling many of his pieces elicit.  A bulk of the feeling I’m referring to could be partly a sense of betrayal, or maybe merely an irresponsible shirking of great opportunities in exchange for a clever obfuscation of the values and meanings that are part of studying humanities.  What I mean is, as gifted and well-known figure Stanley Fish is, why would he focus on how little one can come up with – in practical terms – when asked to value the study of humanities; couldn’t he serve the field, and others, so much better by answering the question, rather asking it?
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Creative Writing, Tenure, and the idiot savants caught in between

January 14, 2008

After stumbling upon an interesting discussion about the publication of literary journals, specifically poetry, then after rambling long enough to throw in one Han Solo reference, I was reminded of an incident that occurred in the English dept. while I was getting my MA. 
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Mr. Fish and The Incredible Appearing Poem

December 30, 2007

Lately I’ve been bothered with Stanley Fish’s Is There A Text In This Class; I’ve had the book for a while, and have read most of the essays long before that, but for some reason lately I’ve been picking it back up.  Mainly, I have been mulling over why I know, even if only instinctual – in my gut – why he is wrong on several of his ideas about poems.  

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Everybody wants to be a poem (part one)

December 10, 2007

I actually had to remove the tag “poetry” (and related variations) from the tag surfer feature because of the sheer amount of people’s poetry that was showing up. Arghh. Something they should tell you early in life is

1) never post any poetry online, and
2) if you do, for God’s sake don’t let other people read it, and
3) never look for comments, criticism or advice online.

At least not if you take the writing seriously. It’s hard enough to reach the “outside world” when you are in a creative writing program, much less getting the internet mixed up with it.

    Writing, poetry especially, is such a weird thing; it is so deeply associated with “feelings” that people are hesitant to actually give criticism. The legacy of modernism and the Beat poets is that when we neither understand nor like a poem, that alone isn’t enough to disqualify the poem as having failed – i.e. being a “bad” poem.  In fact, in many cases it would only reinforce the idea that the poem is up to the status quo.
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