John Scalzi opens up a can of whoop @ss on James Frey, MFA programs, and clueless cleverati students
Had to stand up and cheer for John Scalzi's Open Letter to MFA Writing Programs (and Their Students), which comes in the wake of this New York Magazine article about James Frey's...I don't even know what to call it. It's kind of like Amway, only books instead of laundry soap and vitamins. Scalzi and other writers have spoken out about the oppressive contract terms and general uncoolness of the whole thing, but Scalzi reserves some mamaslap for college writing programs.
I don’t blame Columbia University’s graduate writing program for inviting James Frey over to talk to its students about “truth.” ...It’s always a joy to see how a master of bullshit spins himself up; publishing and literature being what they are, the students should probably learn to recognize this species sooner than later, all the better to move their wallets to their front pockets when such a creature stands before them.And then he goes on to tell us how he really feels. (Read the rest here.)
...Frey was no doubt counting on the students being starry-eyed at the presence of a real-live bestselling author (even a disgraced one) who was waving a movie deal in their faces, but one reason he could count on it was because he was speaking to an audience whose formal educations did not include learning how to spot a crappy deal.