My fantasy MFA

In larcenous homage to https://monicacatherine.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/my-fantasy-mfa/#comment-203, this is the Masters of Fine Arts program in which I would enroll.

EDIT: In retrospect, this is a remarkably accurate summary of my college experience. Which, hey, ain’t bad!

YEAR ONE: FALL

Introduction to the Senses. Joris-Karl Huysmans, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. 

Introduction to Language and Communication. Leonard Bloomfield, Ryan North.

Introduction to Being Educated. Mnesiphilos the Athenian, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Introduction to Introductions. Douglas Hofstaeder.

YEAR ONE: WINTERTERM
Exploratory Intoxication. Kermit Lynch, Dale Pendell. Laboratory fee: bail money.
YEAR ONE: SPRING
Forms of Fiction. Aristotle, Mark Danilewski.
Forms of Nonfiction. H. L. Mencken, David Foster Wallace

Narratives Beyond Fiction. Joseph Campbell, James Frazer.
forms of poeticks. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, e.e. cummings. Must supply own typewriter.
SUMMER 1:
Backpacking through countries where your language is not spoken. Blog incessantly. Declare that you will write no fiction… and fail.
YEAR TWO: FALL
Colors, Paints and Pigments. Philip Ball.

Scents and Scents Ability. Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, Christopher “C B” Brosius. 

The World Through the Mouth. Richard Olney, Jeff Potter.

A Tour of Music. Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Pickett, Anamanaguchi.

Tantric Massage Fuck Orgy. lecturers rotate

YEAR TWO: WINTERTERM

Intensive writing workshop. No instructor. Just an espresso machine.

YEAR TWO: SPRING

Keening the Eye. Cormac McCarthy, Claude Monet. Course only meets in bright mornings and bloody sunsets.

Polemarchs and Polemicists. Winston Churchill.

The World In Fiction. Jill Paton Walsh, “Luther Blissett”, Neal Stephenson
Worlds Of Fiction. J.R.R. Tolkien, Rand & Robin Miller

SUMMER 2:

Live in a tiny apartment in Oakland, Williamsburg, or Jamaica Plain. Be in the personal space of a bunch of people who don’t know how to be alone. Declare that you will write to the exclusion of all else… and fail.

YEAR THREE: FALL

Literary Theory for Writers. Gil Sorrentino, Umberto Eco.
Lives of the Writers. William Godwin, Harold Bloom.

Books: Bindings and Beyond. Elizabeth Eisenstein, Daniel Kelm.

Alternative & Interactive Narrative. Marshall McLuhan, Tim Schaefer.
YEAR THREE: WINTERTERM
How To Workshop. Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman
YEAR THREE: SPRING
How to be an “Author”. Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie. 
The Business of Being a Writer. JK Rowling, Kaavya Viswanathan
Genres Can Go Fuck Themselves With Giant Metal Trout. Zaidee Smith, Kurt Vonnegut
SENIOR SEMINAR:
Using criticism from writers. Geoff Ryman.
Using criticism from non-writers. Frederick Pohl
SUMMER 3:
Start writing.
Never stop.
(Except from time to time.)
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~ by davekov on 5 March 2012.

2 Responses to “My fantasy MFA”

  1. I LOVE THIS! And hey, did you go to Clarion by any chance?–I DID workshop with Kelly Link and Neil Gaiman, and they were amazing; so was Geoff Ryman.

    Also, why didn’t I think of sex and drug experimentation? Timothy Leary, dearie…

    • Alas, no Clarion! But I studied under Kelly at Smith (yay Five College Consortium!) and I followed Geoff and Neil around last Readercon like an adoring puppy. Which is probably a far cry from being an adorable puppy. But I take what I can get :)

      I find frighteningly wonderful the number of people we each picked who are, in fact, professors. All I can think is, THERE IS HOPE FOR HUMANITY.

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