Feb 172010

I saw this article today…it was sent to me by a friend actually.   Cool title of the book, though.   I wonder if she actually read Julio Cortazar?

  6 Responses to “Further Signs of the Apocalypse”

  1. Okay, we should get her to teach at VCFA. It’s so much easier to write books if you just copy them. I hadn’t thought of that.

    And then you go out and admit you copied the book so the critics and Serious Writers will write about you and make your book instantly recognizable.


  2. Hi Don,
    Welcome to Numero Cinq, though my apologies for this post as an introduction to our little community. I appreciate your perspective on the reaction of Central European professors. The casual attitude of the awards jury really stunned me, more so than some seventeen year old twit who thinks this is okay. I had no idea that cheating was so commonplace, worse still that it’s so acceptable. (That being said, Doug, would you mind if I just submitted a critical thesis from a previous semester? I mean, it’s just ‘out there’ anyway. :))

    • Oh, sure, Rich. Good idea. Less work all around. And, you know, it’d be easier on me if you’d just type up a couple of Ernest Hemingway stories to include in the next packet as your creative work.


  3. I wonder how much of this behavior relates to the fact that we live in an age of such relative ease and comfort (at least ‘we’ as in the industrialized world, the book-reading world…it’s not true for the majority of the planet and I don’t mean to generalize) that things like hard work and, dare I say it, suffering, are seen as unnecessary. Where I taught high school kids got limos for dances, had all night parties in five star hotels and wore Vera Wang dresses. They weren’t bad kids…I honestly liked the vast majority of my students, but they were just so detached from work, from anything requiring effort. Of course there are exceptions, but the level of material comfort has reached a point of over-saturation. I worry about this with my own kids, who I love dearly, but who exist in this consumerist bubble that, on one hand, is very nice, but, on the other hand, is so fucking scary. How do I teach them to look askance at the society around us? How does one fight this great material beast which crams everything down our throats? I think of Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel acceptance speech in which she talks about the way language can be corrupted (and can corrupt): “There is and will be rousing language to keep citizens armed and arming; slaughtered and slaughtering in the malls, courthouse, post offices, playgrounds, bedrooms and boulevards; stirring, memorializing language to mask the pity and waste of needless death. There is and will be more seductive, mutant language designed to throttle women, to pack their throats like pate-producing geese with their own unsayable, transgressive words; there will be more of the language of surveillance disguised as research; of politics and history calculated to render the suffering of millions mute; language glamorized to thrill the dissatisfied and bereft into assaulting their neighbors; arrogant, pseudo-empirical langauge crafted to lock creative people into cages of inferiority and hopelessness.”

  4. There was an experiment that got quite a bit of press in England while I was living there (3-6 yrs ago), wherein the Emily Dickinson collection POEMS was submitted to a host (40 or so) of English publishing houses under a pseudonym. Not only was this manuscript rejected by all but 2 houses, only one (ONE!) of all the presses recognized the manuscript as a forgery. A similar experiment was then run with Dickens and (I think) D. H. Lawrence manuscripts to somewhat less astonishing results. To be a fly on the wall during the editorial meetings of those two houses that accepted POEMS as original work…

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