Monthly Archives: August 2009

the return

A glimmer of life returns. I promised Prof. Morris a blog post this summer, and here it is, mere hours before I board my flight back to New Orleans. Typical on my part, which could be a problem this year as the habit of doing things at the last minute may not enable my survival as a graduate student.

Which brings me to something you may take interest in if considering studying Creative Writing or a number of other subjects at Tulane- upon the completion of your Tulane BA or BS you are eligible to apply for 4+1 programs, in which you spend another year at Tulane to to complete a Master’s, at 1/3 tuition. Your professors will demand excellence, and as a given, you will be – or become – excellent! So give it some thought….

I wasn’t asked to say that, I’ll note, in the case that you gave that  much thought began to suspect my motives.  The recommended topic for this post was my summer reading and I might as well present a survey thereof; it was a summer of incomplete reading. I finished Thomas Pynchon’s Against The Day which I began last summer, and I didn’t like it. There are plenty of events, involving cowboys, anarchists, evil tycoons, sex fiends, time travellers, etc. There are plenty of nearly pop-culture references, where some event in the book has a sinister resemblance to a recent event in the news- sorry, can’t name any, they were all ephemeral and sort of inane, but I promise they’re there. The book becomes mind numbing. I finished it because I started it and got so far into it last year, and I think that’s about the only reason to finish the book- because you are determined to, even though you don’t want to. Another book I completed was F.S.F’s Tender is the Night, which I began three years ago and then put down as the school year began. If you haven’t read, you should, I say- lovely settings and unforgettable characters, wow. This is one of those books which changed my life, as the cliche goes about those books that change your life.

You may fear that graduating with an English degree, whether with a focus on Creative Writing or otherwise, may not ensure a good job. I spent my first summer out of college working at a publishing house, reading and evaluating manuscripts among other activities. If you would enjoy being paid to read, publishing might be an interesting post – college career, whether with a magazine, internet content provider, or book publisher- there are plenty of options. I warn though, you’ll get sick of cover letters with misspellings. I’m not sure how people manage to do that, especially in the days of spell-check.

Now I hope I didn’t make some terrible mistake in writing the text above! Stay tuned for more information regarding the coming academic year. I suspect some interesting writers will be visiting Tulane this year.

-Duncan

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