“In our MFA program, student writers participate in Writing Workshops, in the great traditions of those at Harvard and Iowa. The Workshop is a sensitive and supportive environment where students learn to improve their craft under the guidance of Master Teachers, who are also published authors.”
—Well, who wants to start? Comments anybody? Or did everyone get stoned at the break? —I’ll start. I really didn’t get involved until page seventeen, when he meets the girl. Then I liked it, but there needs to be more… more feeling, somehow. —Yeah. I’ll just read you what I have written here on my copy. This character is a drip. This is a boring character who doesn’t want any confrontation. I’m bored. —I mean the question, is “Do we feel it?” —I just wanted more from this character somehow. Like, well, like in Greg’s story, we could see how the character was. I mean... it was amazing. We could feel the vomit, and... I guess I just wanted more feeling. I was just, well I don’t know, it wasn’t stupid or anything. I was just bored. —Generally I don’t say anything while my work is discussed, but when I see that the comments are going off track, occasionally I’ll mention my point of view, as I will now. My conception of the work is the following, and perhaps this might not be completely evident in the context of a single chapter, removed from the larger work. What I’m trying to portray is discrete states of awareness in the character. To show a certain attitude, a certain mode of perception, and as the book progresses, to show 87
how that mode changes, step by-step, and frankly at very low ebb, so that admittedly, a majority of the readers might say there isn’t “emotion” in the way they desire... —But don’t you think-—Please let me just finish this thought, and I’ll be happy to answer your question. —What I do think exists are arcs of perception, from chapter to chapter. Changes in modes of observation, which might--One, not be noticeable from a single chapter read out of context; or Two, might not be enjoyed by the average reader. A lot of the book is observations often without significant emotion attached, because these represent the character’s analyses and modes of awareness... Thank you for waiting, Greg. Please pose your question. —I mean I’ve read a lot of books, right? I read a book about a guy walking around Paris just thinking, right? But this, this… I’m not interested in this. I mean I either like it or I don’t, right? —Quite so, and thank you for your phraseology. Indeed you either like it or you don’t. You may be bored by this kind of writing, even if given the whole book. —Well, I wouldn’t read a book like this.
Fredericksburg Literary & Art Review Volume 3, Issue 1
FLAR is an independently published literary and art magazine located in Fredericksburg, Virginia.