Friday, 10 December 2010

Key Concepts In Creative Writing: Palgrave Omissions

Matt Morrison has done a good job in his recently published Key Concepts In Creative Writing, of compiling terms that relate to writing that could assist students and lecturers of the subject.  I balk though at the word "concepts" because what is singularly lacking in the book - a glaring omission it seems to be as a creative writing lecturer - are any concepts at all, relating to the actual subject itself.  For one, "Creative Writing" should have had its own entry, discussing the origins of the idea, and how it has emerged into such a popular subject in Britain, having come over from America's Iowa workshops via UEA.  Secondly, where is the concept "Workshop" itself?  That is like a book on Freud that doesn't mention the analytic couch.  Thirdly, there is no discussion of pedagogy.  Creative Writing cannot be allowed to drift - in this climate of brutal cuts to Mickey Mouse modules (so-called basket-weaving courses) - as just a place where big name authors take Rooney-sized paydays and mutter anecdotes and offer stale wisdom - but must remain a creative, robust, research-led discipline, complete with its own theories, methodologies, and pedagogical approaches.  Palgrave could have done more to assist that process.
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