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Dirty Little Secret

Fredric Jameson: The Programme Era

22 November 2012
The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing 
by Mark McGurl.
Harvard, 466 pp., £14.95, November 2012, 978 0 674 06209 2
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... The secret MarkMcGurl discloses is the degree to which the richness of postwar American culture (we will here stick to the novel, for reasons to be explained) is the product of the university system, and worse than that ...

Get a Real Degree

Elif Batuman: Down with Creative Writing

23 September 2010
The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing 
by Mark McGurl.
Harvard, 480 pp., £25.95, April 2009, 978 0 674 03319 1
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... reference (Samuel Richardson v. Jhumpa Lahiri), the graduate degrees they award (Doctor of Philosophy v. Master of Fine Arts) and their perceived objects of study (‘literature’ v. ‘fiction’). MarkMcGurl’s The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing, a study of Planet MFA conducted from Planet PhD, might not strike the casual reader as an interdisciplinary bombshell ...

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