Puţin despre atelierele de scriitură

Iniţial voiam să postez încă un text despre Islanda (şi cum a falimentat), scris în aceeaşi perioadă ca şi cel din Vanity Fair, dar The New Yorker n-a încărcat decât o descriere. Lecţia era că un text nu e niciodată scris până nu-l scrii (şi) tu. Diferenţele de ton şi abordare dintre Michael Lewis şi Ian Parker sunt palpabile şi chiar dacă VF şi New Yorker fac parte din acelaşi trust nu înseamnă că au aceiaşi cititori. În România auzi prea des spunându-se: “ah, păi X a apărut luna trecută în Y”. Dar asta e o poveste pentru mai târziu.

Rămânând totuşi la The New Yorker, vă recomand un text despre predat scriitură, mai precis despre cursurile şi programele academice de creative writing. E mai degrabă vorba de predat ficţiune aici, dar stilul de lucru în atelier e folosit şi la unele cursuri de jurnalism (mai ales în cele de scriitură de revistă).

La master am trecut printr-un astfel de curs şi a fost probabil modelul pe care l-am folosit – inconştient sau nu – în cursurile pe care le-am ţinut de la CJI. Probabil de aceea s-a şoptit ocazional că grupurile de acolo erau “secte”. O astfel de interacţiune preferă dialogul în locul prelegerii, iar învăţarea se face din interaţiunea cu cei din jur – da, un fel de terapie de grup. Întrebarea “se poate învăţa scrisul?” e elefantul care bântuie aceaste adunări, neaducând deobicei prea multe răspunsuri afirmative.

Cum funcţionează un astfel de atelier?

The workshop is a process, an unscripted performance space, a regime for forcing people to do two things that are fundamentally contrary to human nature: actually write stuff (as opposed to planning to write stuff very, very soon), and then sit there while strangers tear it apart. There is one person in the room, the instructor, who has (usually) published a poem. But workshop protocol requires the instructor to shepherd the discussion, not to lead it, and in any case the instructor is either a product of the same process—a person with an academic degree in creative writing—or a successful writer who has had no training as a teacher of anything, and who is probably grimly or jovially skeptical of the premise on which the whole enterprise is based: that creative writing is something that can be taught.

Grosul textului lui Louis Menand e despre programele americane de creative writing – ce funcţionează, ce nu, dacă izolează scriitorii sau dacă, dimpotrivă, îi ancorează în timpurile în care trăiesc etc. Finalul însă e universal. Concluzia – personală – a lui Menand e că atelierele de scriitură funcţionează – nu te învăţă neapărat cum să scrii, dar te învaţă că trebuie să scrii dacă asta îţi doreşti. Şi te învaţă că nu eşti singurul care se luptă cu incertitudini şi probleme:

[In] spite of all the reasons that they shouldn’t, workshops work. I wrote poetry in college, and I was in a lot of workshops. I was a pretty untalented poet, but I was in a class with some very talented ones, including Garrett Hongo, who later directed the creative-writing program at the University of Oregon, and Brenda Hillman, who teaches in the M.F.A. program at St. Mary’s College, in California. Our teacher was a kind of Southern California Beat named Dick Barnes, a sly and wonderful poet who also taught medieval and Renaissance literature, and who could present well the great stone face of the hard-to-please. I’m sure that our undergraduate exchanges were callow enough, but my friends and I lived for poetry. We read the little magazines—Kayak and Big Table and Lillabulero—and we thought that discovering a new poet or a new poem was the most exciting thing in the world. When you are nineteen years old, it can be.

Did I engage in self-observation and other acts of modernist reflexivity? Not much. Was I concerned about belonging to an outside contained on the inside? I don’t think it ever occurred to me. I just thought that this stuff mattered more than anything else, and being around other people who felt the same way, in a setting where all we were required to do was to talk about each other’s poems, seemed like a great place to be. I don’t think the workshops taught me too much about craft, but they did teach me about the importance of making things, not just reading things. You care about things that you make, and that makes it easier to care about things that other people make.

And if students, however inexperienced and ignorant they may be, care about the same things, they do learn from each other. I stopped writing poetry after I graduated, and I never published a poem—which places me with the majority of people who have taken a creative-writing class. But I’m sure that the experience of being caught up in this small and fragile enterprise, contemporary poetry, among other people who were caught up in it, too, affected choices I made in life long after I left college. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Comments

2 Responses to “Puţin despre atelierele de scriitură”

  1. simona on June 10th, 2009 2:30 pm

    salut
    postul asta m-a entuziasmat foarte tare si m-a facut sa-mi dau seama de ce blogul tau e printre locurile mele preferate de pe net. :) “I just thought that this stuff mattered more than anything else, and being around other people who felt the same way in a setting where all we were required to do was to talk about each other’s poems, seemed like a great place to be.”

    si e un argument excelent pentru cursul de la CJI.

    linkul de mai jos e un alt loc preferat. :)
    http://www.identitytheory.com/fiction/ostdick_sleeping.php

  2. Cristi on June 10th, 2009 9:01 pm

    Simona: Mersi mult. Identity theory e un loc frumos, intr-adevar.

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