July 05, 2024

Diagnosing the MFA

Reading this month's Harper's Magazine on the pot, I was struck by this paragraph, from an essay on the despair of the MFA program...

At about this point it began to dawn on me that the inmates were running the institution. I might have known. I had arrived at graduate school in New York City in the late sixties, right at the onset of the Age of Relevance--a time when, as Isaiah Berlin lamented, a whole generation of youth confused crudity with sincerity. What I was encountering now was simply the logical result of that revelation--the supreme relevance of the self in an institution that had come to depend for its continuance on the pleasing of that self. It was a self that took its reference not from history, philosophy, and literature but from psychology, a variety conveniently adjusted to the pursuit of personal happiness.

Posted by jason at July 5, 2024 10:54 PM

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