Creative Writing On Change

Creative Writing On Change-76
But there’s an underlying assumption that the MFA But what if there’s no change to speak of?

But there’s an underlying assumption that the MFA But what if there’s no change to speak of?

NYC,” “the university now rivals, if it hasn’t surpassed, New York as the economic center of the literary fiction world.” If there are indeed “two literary cultures” in Harbach’s words, we should be able to detect it.

We began by looking at writers’ diction: whether the words used by MFA writers are noticeably different than those of their non-MFA counterparts.

I was forced to choose between a family member, someone I loved, and my church. Suddenly, like a tornado that reaps devastation in just a moment, I found myself standing in a heap of rubble, all of my answers laying at my feet, ripped to pieces. My heart was burdened, and I wrote to get what was in me out.

Changed me for good: I am still an orthopedic surgeon.

Using a variety of tools from the field of computational text analysis, we studied how similar authors were across a range of literary aspects, including diction, style, theme, setting, and even how writers use characters.

novel, what makes, say, Junot Diaz sound like Junot Diaz, is of course mostly immeasurable.So we decided to examine to what extent writing from MFA graduates differs from writing by non-graduates.We collected a sample of 200 novels written by graduates of MFA programs from over 20 leading programs (including Columbia, University of Texas at Austin, Iowa, and others) that have been published in the last 15 years.But these features remain the fundamental building blocks of any novel, so if MFA writing were in aggregate to have some essential difference from books written by authors without MFAs, it should be perceptible at the very least at this genetic level of prose.There has to be , writes, creative writing programs “obviously” teach writers how to become a specific “creative type.” Or as Chad Harbach has argued more recently in his popular essay “MFA vs.What if this is just something that’s been imagined into existence, by both detractors and supporters alike, to satisfy a collective need to believe that institutions can improve anything, even creativity?Or conversely, that institutions ruin everything, especially creativity?What if this debate, furious as it is, is just a distraction from more important questions surrounding creative writing, like problems of diversity within publishing or financial exploitation on the part of universities?We’re two professors of language and literature who regularly use computation to test common assumptions about culture. I attended every Sunday, dressed in coat and tie, armed with my Bible. Although life is full of uncertainties, for me church was not one of them. God was understandable and I, more than anybody else, understood him.


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