Gloss on Glass Houses: A Reply to Loren Glass's "Getting With the Program"

Gloss on Glass Houses: A Reply to Loren Glass's "Getting With the Program"

Lennon’s panoramic review-essay might have been more lucid – despite its obvious commitment to theoretical divagation as right and proper method – so part of the problem here might be less Glass’s casual invocation of Bourdieu (and I’m tired of hearing Bourdieu’s name myself) than (in this case) understandable, if unproductive, misreading (of irony etc). Perhaps, then, a cooler rhetoric would incite more productive polemic? But Lennon’s response to Glass is at any rate unambiguous on most counts. I only wish the discussion would start in what seems to be emerging as the vital precincts of debate. It might be just me, but I get the distinct sense that the issue becomes incendiary to the extent that scholarship is seen as bridging the distance to creative writing only by enforcing a certain disciplinarity (or system), and that writers (who often seek or posit liberation from the institution, or system) and scholars (whose very livelihood is overdetermined by the institution, or system) feel compelled to take sides accordingly. But perhaps it’s not about quietisms of one sort of another – it (the rhetorical stakes, I mean) might be more about our on-the-job experiences, and how we square these with our (sure, historically-rooted) aspirations. (I know I hope someday to make a lot of money as a writer and leave the teaching to my betters. He sd.) To his credit, Lennon suggests as much whenever he ventures into the potentially ad hominem domain of calling out the tenured as such. But there might be a way to do this with less heat, and I should know, having failed on more than one occasion, right here in ebr. (Disclaimer: I’ve read McGurl’s book and have posted my own squib on same at Goodreads, but I haven’t yet read Golumbia’s book.)

Publication date: 
2010-02-14
Author name: 
Joe Amato: