This Saturday I gave a one-day seminar on Gordon Lish and the Lish school(s) of writing at The New School. A lot of what I spoke about I’ve written about on this site, and some of it may be posted in the future, when its written form is a bit more polished than lecture/discussion notes, but for right now I just wanted to share one tidbit from the class. Actually, it happened before the class. And actually, it didn’t even happen to me. I was sitting in the classroom, and the first student walked in. He was holding a copy of “Guilt,” a story from GL’s collection What I Know So Far that I had assigned as pre-reading. He told me that he’d been looking it over in the elevator, and the man next to him had noticed what he was reading. He said the man was a good bit older, and presumably affiliated with the program, because if you weren’t taking a class or teaching one, you wouldn’t be there on a Saturday. He said the man leaned over and remarked irritably to him: “Everything Gordon Lish says is lies.” Then the ride was over and they parted ways. He came into class and told me this story. It made me feel like it was bound to be a great class, and moreover, despite the gray sky and freezing rain, a wonderful day. I thought, that, right there. That’s why I love Lish- he brings it out in people.