ISBN is

978-0-87451-843-6 / 0874518431

On the Teaching of Creative Writing: Responses to a Series of Questions

by Stegner, Wallace

Publisher:Montgomery Endowment, Dartmouth

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

This tiny little volume evolved from a series of discussions with Wallace Stegner during his two-month residency at Dartmouth College in the summer of 1980. Stegner (author of Angle of Repose and The Spectator Bird) was among the first students in the U.S. to receive a master's degree in creative writing; he also founded and directed for 25 years Stanford University's creative writing program. Thus, he is unusually qualified to address the issue of teaching writing. Stegner calls to task those instructors who use their classrooms to create a coterie of copiers, as well as those indulgent professors who rhapsodize about their students' work without warrant. "Young writers should be encouraged to write," he says, "and discouraged from thinking they are writers," as the process of becoming a writer is a "long, long apprenticeship." Instead, a writing instructor need have "sympathy, empathy, [and] a capacity to enter into another mind without dominating it." Finally, he says, it is by way of the Socratic method that writers should be educated. "Talent can't be taught, but it can be awakened.... All a teacher can do is set high goals for students--or get them to set them for themselves--and, then, try to help them reach those goals." --Jane Steinberg

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