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Surviving the MFA

On the Dooney’s Cafe site, John Harris offers a survey of the career of Canadian author Robert Harlow, who was also the head of UBC’s creative writing program. The piece argues that too much exposure to academia can be bad for your artistic health:

It’s an ongoing experiment that might not be working out. With creative writing – with the New Criticism, even – we writer-profs may have gone too far. To me, Harlow’s career points at the dangers – prolonged artistic adolescence, permanent apprenticeship, and fascination with technique instead of with meaningful subject matter and messages. The result: AirBooks. But Harlow himself is a living illustration that the smart and brave can survive creative writing.