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MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction (Anglais) Broché – 25 février 2014

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Writers write--but what do they do for money? In a widely read essay entitled "MFA vs NYC," bestselling novelist Chad Harbach ("The Art of Fielding") argued that the American literary scene has split into two cultures: New York publishing versus university MFA programs. This book brings together established writers, MFA professors and students, and New York editors, publicists, and agents to talk about these overlapping worlds, and the ways writers make (or fail to make) a living within them. Should you seek an advanced degree, or will workshops smother your style? Do you need to move to New York, or will the high cost of living undo you? What's worse--having a day job or not having health insurance? How do agents decide what to represent? Will Big Publishing survive? How has the rise of MFA programs affected American fiction? The expert contributors, including George Saunders, Elif Batuman, and Fredric Jameson, consider all these questions and more, with humor and rigor. "MFA vs NYC "is a must-read for aspiring writers, and for anyone interested in the present and future of American letters.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 17 commentaires
17 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The thesis of this anthology is based on a false permise. 4 avril 2014
Par Roy Lisker - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The only essay that really says something in this book is the obne by Chad Harbachy himself. The title of the anthology suggests a false dichotomy, namely that the writing that really counts nowadays is largely divided between the NYC agents and publishing houses, and the MFA degree programs in colleges and universities. It is hard to believe that an advanced nation with a population of over 300 million should have so narrow a range of choices.
For example: What about the very thriving poetry scene in and around the Bay area of San Francisco, with its dozens of literary bookstores and coffee shops, and as many readings per week?
What about the hundreds of small presses around the country, many of them of very high quality?
What about all the new options for self-publishing? I myself have a website on which dozens of my articles, essays, works of fiction appear. Two of my novels are Kindle E-Mail books. Otherwise I have published in Europe. I dont consider either NYC or the MFA as viable options.
I, also, was "educated" in this false notion, in college, that the only "scenes" in American literature were in NYC or the universities. It's taken me years to realize how wrong this is.
In addition, apart from Mr. Hudson's essay, the writing in this anthology is, by and large, mediocre.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Useful but ended up wishing for a book on how writers make a living instead 9 septembre 2014
Par Raina Lee - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Useful if you are considering an MFA and spans the gamut of MFA vs professional NYC writing experiences, but after reading this I instead wished for a book on how working writers -- people who get paid for their writing-- make a living, showing us all their tricks, sacrifices, and victories. I also think the NYC writing/ editorial experience is highly specific to an east coast educated white strata, which seems obvious while reading the book.
8 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Writers, don't quit your day job. 6 mai 2014
Par sara - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is a very interesting book for anyone seeking to write. The writer's world has changed dramatically over the past decade, and this book outlines those changes. The creative lifestyle is not what you might imagine, esp. in the digital age. Poverty, disrespect and struggle are not to be romanticized. Yet... One can still have a vibrant & interesting life as a writer. Get a degree, or certificate, that pays decently but doesn't deplete your creativity. Reconsider the move to NYC, as it's not necessary to publish. Write at night, or on weekends. Discipline, as well as the speed of the computer, makes this possible. Besides, a decent job with a fun scene will inspire the writer to write better stories. An MFA is fine, but is the debt worth it? Do you really want to work in the underpaid/disrespected world of academia? This books allows you to answer these questions as you move forward. It makes me grateful for my science degree, even as I pen words late at night in the garret.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Behind-The-Scenes View of Writers Attempting to Succeed in Today's Literary World 25 février 2015
Par **Rob** - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I read Harbach's "The Art of Fielding" and then saw that he authored this book. Since I liked the Fielding book, I read this one. It is focused on the literary world: the process of spending time in workshops, the tuition, and the opportunity cost of getting a degree in writing (the "MFA" part of the title) versus practicing the craft in an expensive, competitive city which is the undisputed center of publishing (the "NYC" part of the title).

I am not a professional writer, but I do read a lot and enjoy the process of reading. Harbach's alternating chapters of MFA and NYC illuminated for me the great struggle that student writers and professional writers are engaged in to get their work to an audience, and to make a living from their craft. There are several industries undergoing immense change - newspaper publishing, music recording, hotel/spare room reservations, etc. After reading this book, it seems to me that the literary world should undergo a similar revolution. Both of the current choices, either masters degree or trail by fire in New York City, involve a huge amount of cost, both financial and personal. I read many of the personal vignettes with empathy and compassion - literary artists reduced to concerns of the bottom line as opposed to creating the highest possible merit in contemporary literature.

Although this book is very very different from Harbach's first novel, I found it interesting and a relatively quick read. I am not currently in the publishing industry or in the academic world, but I can nonetheless recommend "MFA v. NYC" as an engaging exploration of the struggles young writers face as they navigate their professional literary journeys.

13 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Necessary perspectives 9 mars 2014
Par John Leighton - Publié sur
Format: Broché
These are essays about what the lived life of writers is all about, old territory for some but revelatory for others. As you read these essays, you will annotate them in your head as you go along - it took me quite a while to read this book since I had to frequently set the book in my lap and talk aloud to myself in dialogue with the essayistic points the authors were making.

a few takeaways:
--writing is suffering from an image of "only something the young do." Like most lit mags these days, you need to make allowances for the cutesy references to loving This American Life, being "totally alienated all through high school" (most barftastic theme ever), and all the other "I'm a Millennial!" signposts.
--Elif Batuman's essay is pretty devastating toward MFA culture and she is hands down the best writer ever associated with this magazine. I went to the tenth issue party and Keith's opening sentence was, "Elif Batuman can't be here tonight, sorry, I know this event sucks now, sorry about that."
--surprised no one mentions John Gardner, the proponent of the "fictional dream."
--writing is commercial and a life's work all at the same time
--these essays basically cry out for the conservative point of view, that some maturity and life wisdom count for something, since neither MFA or NYC siders seem very happy. Word to the wise: if you are ever reading something that resolves itself with a shrug like many of these essays do, remember that there is another point of view out there.
--either you get it, or you don't

Good read that will reconfirm your hopes/fears and that's a good thing.
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