The Vicarious MFA
I had a sad realization last Monday in the Non/Fiction seminar. We were discussing Beauty Before Comfort by Allison Glock. This book came out in 2003 and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year but just six years later it’s out of print. Benson said this is another good reason to go with an independent publisher, since they tend to keep their stock in print for as long as possible. Even so, it’s a little depressing that your work can get lots of gold stars on minute and be marked way, way down at The Strand the next minute.
We started class with a writing exercize (not a normal practice in a seminar, but a welcome deviation.)
“Describe someone you know in third person, but in the way you think that they see themselves. A paragraph or so into it, add something that they might not nesscessarily know about themselves– your perspective/interpretation of their behavior or personality.” Good fun.
Read David Markson’s Reader’s Block for next Monday. Read Kathleen Norris’s Dakota for Thursday and give a presentation about the transgenerational epigenetic effects of endocrine-disruptive chemicals on mate selection in female rats for Friday. (yikes!)
Also on Friday, Jonathan Safran-Foer is coming to do a talk titled “Intersections” for a small group of grad students (which is neat because usually these lectures get a little crowded and/or infultrated with eager, bad-question-asking undergrads.)