Thursday, December 20, 2012

Post-Semester Post: Fall 2012

It's been over for a week, but I post now.

Poetry Workshop

I finished a chapbook for the class, and I think it came out pretty good. Of course, the poems are not done. I should be finishing them up (plus a few more) in the next few weeks. My poems range from talking about sleep and unconsciousness to writing, porn, Poe and happiness - some of these may be related. It was fun. Made me think about whether I would teach one. I'm definitely not qualified to teach one - I'm worried I might never be. I remember saying on the first day, "I don't really consider myself to be a good poet." I didn't say "very good" - I'm really aiming just to be "good." As they say, "A man must know his limitations" - well, I will continue to strive in this genre, who knows? But I will probably concentrate on fiction. I've sent out two stories so far.

Short Fiction

Read a lot of great stories. The class, concentrated on the craft of the short form, really taught me a lot about the evolution of the short form. The evolution itself, from explicit to implicit meaning, and from maximalism to minimalism, seems to ask: what is the essence of the short story? We see it today with flash fiction. Even in the poetry workshop, I saw many things that challenged the definition of a poem: table of contents, lists, aphorisms, etc. It's a question I will grapple with in the future, no doubt.

18thC Novel

I'm just glad it's over.

Seriously, though, not that I wasn't being serious, this class also made me think about the definition and purpose of a novel. It seems to me that it is really an attempt at discovery: of self, and of writing. It is an exploration of ideas and experiences through narrative. It is a form of writing that, through exhaustive narration, aims at pushing the limits of what writing, and language, is.

A great semester. Did a lot of work. Learned a lot about writing, about categorizing (a human folly?), about myself and what and why I want to write. I don't know. That's what I learned.

To find out my classes for next semester, stay tuned. 

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