‘You know who else never read The Great Gatsby? Charles Dickens. William Shakespeare. Oscar Wilde. William Blake. Lord Byron. True, those are all famous authors and poets who died before Fitzgerald wrote Gatsby, but my point is that you can’t claim someone is incapable of becoming a writer if they haven’t read any one specific book. You also can’t deride them for thinking of “the classics” as a single monolithic thing out of one side of your mouth, then deride everyone who hasn’t read and enjoyed the exact same books as you out of the other.’
One of my favorite news sites posted an article by Ryan Boudinot, an ex-MFA (Master of Fine Arts) teacher, about writing students. The article is an incredibly good example of both clickbait and elitist BS. And the writing blogs have reacted in a manner which is just increasing the traffic to the article, making it likely the site will put up more of the same. If you haven’t seen it, yet, here’s a link using the excellent Donotlink.com service: Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One – The Stranger, which will get you to the article without increasing its search stats.
A lot of people have posted rebuttals, I provide regular links to some of the best at the end of this post. The point I most disagree with is Boudinot’s definition of “serious reader.”
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‘The process of creation followed by production was very important to Blake, bearing in mind that he created a concept, for which there had to be a balance between writing and illustrations. The entire work had to be his, as he envisioned a concept and not a mere book. His name on the frontispiece functioned as a signature, similar to a painter signing his work. He was printer and author, thus explicitly stating he was sole creator of this work. William Blake produced his books as a form of art, very luxurious pieces, they were not intended for the book market.’
As a nine year old, William Blake claimed he saw a “tree filled with angels”, moreover, he never outgrew or denounced these visions. His favourite artists were those unappreciated in their time, such as Michelangelo. So it is rather obvious that William Blake was not one likely to conform to the norm. William Blake was a true artistic rebel, commenting on contemporary society and placing himself deliberately outside of the literary scene. In the eighteenth century, most authors had very little control of their works as they were printed and sold. William Blake, however, decided to create his own illustrations and print his own works, as a result he kept full control.
The process of creation followed by production was very important to Blake, bearing in mind that he created a concept, for which there had to be a balance between writing and illustrations. The entire work had to be…
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May his legacy be as EPIC as his poetry.
“The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” – William Blake
And – gods above! – we like to party too.