Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Writing from the Asylum?

Of course, it's the controversial soundbite, the caustic comment, that grabs the headlines at a literary festival, and author Hanif Kureishi speaking at the Hay Festival provides a particularly juicy one, calling university creative writing courses :
... the new mental hospitals.
and implying that such courses for create serial killers.

Kureishi, who is now a research associate on the creative writing course at Kingston University in London adds :
But the people are very nice. ... When I teach them, they are always better at the end - and more unhappy.
His concern seems the be that such courses set up false expectations among students that a literary career will inevitably follow:
The fantasy is that all the students will become successful writers - and no one will disabuse them of that.


Burhan said...


bibliobibuli said...

just as well you decided you study maths in the end, isn't it?

Web Sutera said...

Dear Sharon,

I have more English books than Bahasa Melayu in my bookshelf. Why? Still many of them are yet to be read! :-)

bibliobibuli said...

most of my books are "to be read" and i still buy more!

you have a very nice blog btw - glad i found it

lil ms d said...

haha i can attest to that. we had a schizophrenic in our class. i am serious. first we thought she was quirky. then the whole MA class went off for a writing camp in the lake district, and she er, well the many she's appeared during dinner, lunch, breakfast. we were really scared! then she attacked our tutor.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,

Hope you are well. I just came across your blog. Great stuff! I am writing to you because my partner and I are launching a website that will be populated with cross-cultural information about every country in the world. We will be looking to the web community to help do this with all the information being available for free. I was wondering if you and/or members from your community may be able to help us out with the Malaysia pages. We would love your input. Let me know if you would be open to this and I'll send along a brief questionnaire. Please also feel free to check out the website and become a member, it's free! We can also offer you a link to your blog from our Malaysia Travel Directory for a reciprocal link in return if you have interest.

Here is a link to the site:


Michael Landers
Director - Culture Crossing

Anonymous said...

Dins, you should write about that :) And culturecrossing shouod stop spamming :P

bibliobibuli said...

anon - michael from culture crossing did write to me with a genuine request and i'm going to help him wioth some malaysia info ... but i agree, it's rude (and not blog culture) to plug your website in an irrelevant to the topic at hand posting.

and i wish dina would write that too

Anonymous said...

I am a bit late to the party but I just want to point out that Hanif Kureishi is mouthing off with no evidence whatsoever here. If you read the article, you'll have come across this gem:

"One of the things you notice is that when you switch on the television and a student has gone mad with a machine gun on a campus in America, it's always a writing student."

What what what?!?!? Can ANYONE show me a SINGLE example of a campus shooting perpetrated by a creative writing student? Come on, just ONE example.

You can't just make shit up and present it as fact, man, it's not cool whether you do it in writing or speech.

-- Preeta

bibliobibuli said...

you mean you're not an axe-murderer, preeta? LOL