Monday, June 15, 2009

Teaching writing

Some important aspects of the craft can be taught, but the art of writing must be taught in the same way that art is taught in art school, and music in music school. Nobody would dare turn up to the door of a music school saying ’I’d like to be a guitarist, but I don’t have a guitar, I don’t have time to practice, and I don’t listen to music’, but people do that in writing courses.

From here, a long and detailed interview with novelist M. J. Hyland and a great read.

*The title I've given this post has reminded me of a particularly fraught staff meeting in my former workplace, where we were hammering out, at glacial speed and temperature, all the new subjects that were to be taught the following year, all aspects of all of which had to be subjected to the democratic process and agreed upon unanimously before proceeding. We spent at least three hours on the title of a new first-year subject that eventually sported the title 'Reading Writing', and then moved on to the question of a title for another new subject about literature and religion. Quoth the then head of department: 'Well, if we're going with the double gerunds, how about 'Seeing Believing'?

Cross-posted from Still Life With Cat

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