The doomedness of theories of creative writing

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

As the sun tries to rise on Philadelphia today, I pack my bags for the University of Pennsylvania, English 135, where Vivian Gornick's most essential The Situation and The Story:  The Art of Personal Narrative will be our partial guide.  It is my guide, as well.  From the final pages:
Any attempt to teach writing ... out of anything other than that which the teacher knows intimately rather than theoretically is also doomed.  Theories of creative writing I find even more damaging than questions of craft.  It seems to me that as teachers of writing, we are there only to make the widest and most thoughtful sense of our own experience.  Out of that alone comes useful exploration. 


Lilian Nattel said...

It makes sense with all manners of teaching.

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