Friday, March 25, 2011

The Teaching of Creative Writing in an Age of String Theory and Shouting

I’ve been thinking about the teaching of creative writing and creative writing programs.

I think we could inject an incredible energy into writing programs (and writing) if creative writing routinely included courses about performance, about recording and using words in recordings, using words in movement, in video, in visual and sculptural media, and in digital forms. The four- (and five-) dimensional page. Pages where we see the fourth wall. Where we are the fourth wall and we're sitting in a bucket of twenty-two dimensional spacetime. Pages which have disappeared in the night, leaving the words to fend for themselves in new worlds of their own invention.  

I’d like to see courses which include approaches to collaboration, to a theatre- and dance-like understanding of group process and development of projects.

Of course, many writers create and teach multimedia and expand the frame of the traditional workshop format, but I’d like to see such courses part of a mainstream creative writing curricula.  

Susan Howe/James Welling: Frolic Architecture
Even if the end result is to write for the page (which it wouldn’t have to be), the page, then would be more vibrant, it would be an energized section cut across a living, moving, multi-dimensional creative creation space.

Also: if school is for how to drive cars only, there will be little riding of horses. Or trees. If school if for how to ride horses, there will be little contemplation of the thin wing of the hatch-back, the darkening fin of the storm wind. The double-digit dimensions of the toasted slice and the community mouth, the borderless field of the fingerless crowd.


Erin Moure quotes Anna Becciu:
Anna Becciu: “Love happens when we stroke a textured surface, when something is told with the hands or with the mouth. The mouth uses stories to stroke, causes scattered textures to appear, textures that can be read out loud. But almost no one knows how to read.” tr. Alberto Manguel.

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