Writers, the collective

Is it possible that waning interest in literary fiction is the result of the army of Borg writers driven by a single collective thought, producing clones of the same book?

“Here come the writers: hundreds of them, liberated from their garrets and suddenly overrunning the country, going from invisible to omnipresent…

The answer is that they come from creative-writing programs, which have emerged in the new century as the indispensable nurseries of literary fiction in North America. Half of all published authors in Canada have studied creative writing, according to a 2010 survey, and enrolment in postsecondary creative-writing courses is booming even as interest in traditional literary studies declines. …

One now-traditional criticism of such processes is that they produce homogenous results, often identified as “workshop stories” or “Iowa novels” by skeptics. Most teachers deny it, naturally, pointing out that creative-writing courses have broadened access to the art and are in part responsible for the new diversity of Canadian literature. But the taint remains.

Fictions that carry it tend to be “highly competent but dull,” according to Hollingshead. “The rule is the telling detail,” he says, “so you get all this surface information, but to no effect. You have a kind of aesthetic sheen on the prose but you’re not getting enough ideas and you’re not getting enough dramatic energy.” He is confident in the prospect of literary renewal, but doubts such a thing will emerge from the creative-writing academy.”

More: http://m.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/writers-graduating-by-the-bushel-but-can-they-find-readers/article4625110/?service=mobile

Presidents are chosen, but not elected. The Black Vault. http://www.SPYWRITER.com

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