Reformation Under Way

Reformation Under Way

2002-08-17

Sandy Huss suggests that the reform envisioned by Amato and Fleisher is already underway.

Am I dreaming? Is the poignant incandescence that lights nearly every scene of Wonder Boys really still, somewhere, gleaming? I want to believe it’s been long since doused. I want to believe that a lot of us who emerged from 1st generation writing programs threw off our mortar boards with a resounding phooey and have gone on as teachers of creative writing to challenge the top-down, genius-reverent, pronouncement-preponderant, phallogocentric pedagogy of the bad old days: we’re rhizomal, hip to the construction of authorship, wise to the wily confinements of genre and gender (& race & class), and avid for encounters with any kind of aesthetic/theoretical/political stuff that throws us into a panic - whether it be generated by so-called humans or so-called machines.

Which is only to say that the reformation Amato & Fleisher call for is already well under way. Unless I’m dreaming. And I might be, since I find myself foiling around, most unrealistically, here in ebr ‘s fencing metaphor.

In my dreams, Writing is, anyway, already Over. We might as well stop teaching it. Toward what (whose) end/s do we maintain it as a discipline? The alphabet wants to be free! Let’s liberate it from the legacy of the priesthood that dogs its every Literary move and cut it loose to hobnob with the Other signs. Out of the cloisters, I say, and into the ideavirus stream! Let’s take our cue from the Book Artists & Digital & Graphic Designers & Advertising Wonks who, without any Certified training in Writing at all, are coding rings around the rest of us, producing documents and screens with a decidedly undisciplined allure. Forget ReFormation (we don’t want another sect, surely?): Invention’s what we need.