[Marxism] Fwd: The Writing Class by Jaswinder Bolina

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 2 06:32:11 MST 2014


The more advanced our degrees, the more conversant we become in the 
mores of the upper classes. For creative writing programs, this is borne 
out in all those wine and cheese receptions, in the pomp and 
circumstance of the formal reading series, and in the annual pageant of 
the AWP conference, where thousands of nattily dressed writers spend 
their days commiserating in the hotel ballrooms of America’s priciest 
urban centers. We might be sleeping four to a room and putting the $10 
drinks in the lobby bar on already overburdened credit cards, but the 
entire culture of the conference is in wild opposition to the lifestyle 
afforded by a graduate stipend of $15,000 per year—where such scant 
funding is even offered. If grad school’s pay scale provides an 
authentic experience of lean living, grad school’s culture delivers the 
distinct whiff of old-money society. This isn’t the fault of creative 
writing programs themselves. It’s a culture they’ve inherited from the 
cultural history of the academy in general, which has little to do with 
the socioeconomic experiences shared by millions of people in the United 
States and billions around the world. When entry into a field becomes 
contingent upon class advantage and participation in it becomes a kind 
of class indoctrination, stratifications become inevitable.


full: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/249164



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