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Impressions and Expressions of Ijon - McGurl answers Batuman on Creative Writing
November 7th, 2011
06:31 pm

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McGurl answers Batuman on Creative Writing
Also enjoyed Prof. Mark McGurl's well-argued response to Elif Batuman's review of his book The Program Era, on the rise of the "creative writing" classes.

I found McGurl's rebuttal of Batuman's seemingly gut-reaction, mandarin rejection of modern fiction convincing. Perhaps I've been guilty of an unthinking Batuman-like attitude myself. Reading McGurl, I notice that I do, in fact, approve of quite a few modern fiction authors, and this without being at all well-read in contemporary fiction.

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From:shunra
Date:November 8th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
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FWIW, I read Batuman's book about Russian Books and the People Who Read them.

I'd have had it shredded if not for there being a hapless soul who wanted to read it, so I mailed him my copy.
He hated it, too.

Basically, I found her take on reality (especially on that part of reality that reads books) insulting in the extreme. I dis-recommend her writing most enthusiastically. The world would be a better place if she were landscaping. Or deep-sea diving. Or the drawing of water from forgotten wells. Or dental hygiene.

On second thought, scrap the dental hygiene idea. From what I've read of her writing, I don't get the impression she'd play nicely with other humans.
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From:themoniker
Date:November 8th, 2011 09:47 am (UTC)
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I got all excited seeing this post's headline because I misread it as "Batman".

Which considering what passes through my feed reader, isn't an improbable assumption.
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