Friday, June 8, 2012

parallel to one coordinate plane

From Michael Bourne's April 30 essay on The Millions about what the death of newspapers means for writers: "I fear we are creating a generation of riff artists, who see their job not as creating wholly new original projects but as commenting upon cultural artifacts that already exist."

Yep. I worry about that too, and about whether or not I've taken on too much of the generic MFA writing style, defined by Bourne as an "insular, navel-gazing style that has more to do with a response to previous works of fiction than to the world most non-writers live in." I don't think I have - I have a teeny bit of journalism experience and the sense of urgency that comes with freelancing for a living - but I also really, really don't want to spend my entire artistic career rearranging puzzle pieces, so I'm a little defensive about the possibility that it might happen despite my best efforts to avoid it.

I feel like this graduation speech where the kids were told they weren't special ties into this issue somehow, but I can't find the words to explain it at present. All I know is that if I hear one more goddamn person talk about participation trophies I am gonna respond in a hyperbolic manner.

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