Thursday, February 18, 2010

Art v."Scholarship"

Am I the only person who might think it odd to find a crowd of Art Historians totally  in charge of the School of Painting?

In other words, would any painter of sound mind opine that the perhaps worthy and erudite scholarly "Journalists of Art History" could have anything apposite to say about actually teaching a student to paint?

Now that Creative Writing has grown up -- to a certain extent! -- as an academic discipline am I the only writer who thinks it might be time to argue that Creative Writing needs  its own department?

And if it is not quite time -- just yet! --  to argue that Creative Writing now properly belongs in a Creative Writing Department not completely under the aegis of those no doubt worthy and erudite scholarly "Journalists of Literary History" ... when will it be time?

Shouldn't the Creative Writing Department properly be under the aegis of the Schoiol of the Arts?

I mean ... isn't the writing of poetry and fiction art?  ... e.g., not journalism?  and not literary scholarship? of the same type that used to let an English Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia specialize in "textual comparison" ???

Haven't the English Departments hijacked the Creative Writing programs for their own benefit?  -- for the warm bodies they needed to bolster their own declining enrollments?

I would be interested to hear of any steps in this direction that may have been taken already.

I would be interested to hear from any fiction writer or poet about how the Creative Writing curriculum -- especially for undergraduates might be different?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Since all writers procrastinate, can we infer that this behavior is an essential part of the process?

And after all, the deadline is ... the deadline.
Thus, the problem is to structure the procrastination so that it works a bit better for you.

On Writing Badly

Paradoxically, without first giving yourself the freedom to write badly, it will often seem extremely unlikely that you will write anything good — by which I mean, “anything that might last beyond the moment.”  -cg

Saturday, February 13, 2010

From Orient Express

"He determined to be princely on an Oriental scale, granting costly gifts and not requiring, not wanting , any return."
Graham Greene, Orient Express (1932) 
And I think one of his best books.  Many of the paragraphs show off his glittering pointilist style -- by which I mean, small distinct thoughts (or images) are built up sentence by sentence to form the scene.  -- c.g.

A Mantra For Your Children

Love is a beautiful dance that spins
Into the world when a day begins

.................................................Christian Gehman

Use when when ....... when looking at a sleeping child.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Faith and Courage

Real faith takes courage; and real courage, faith.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

People are Cats

Cats are people, people cats
I guess most would agree on that
The cat that I love best, you see,
Is snuggled in the bed with me.

La Princesse de Cleves

An elegant and adroit setting by Madame de Lafayette for what was at the time not quite an historical novel:

The Queen's ambitious temper made her taste the sweets of reigning, and she seemed to bear with perfect ease the King's passion for the Duchess of Valentinois, nor did she express the least jealousy of it; but she was so skilful a dissembler, that it was hard to judge of her real sentiments, and policy obliged her to keep the duchess about her person, that she might draw the King to her at the same time. This Prince took great delight in the conversation of women, even of such as he had no passion for; for he was every day at the Queen's court, when she held her assembly, which was a concourse of all that was beautiful and excellent in either sex.