Signup date: 22 Jun 2006 at 5:48pm
Last login: 13 Jun 2008 at 2:13pm
Post count: 120
Kollantai, universities are supposed to be places of learning and not Hollywood studios or celebrity-style magazines. If they want to become as crass as these entities in order to play some kind of commercial ratings game then it devalues their academic credibility, which in the long-term won’t attract the best students.
Yes, training in the musical and performance arts is essential as talent in these areas can only be expressed through the body. And such training needs large spaces and equipment to facilitate learning, hence the importance of learning institutions that can provide these things.
However, writing fiction does not require a three-year course at degree level, simply because its demands for space and equipment are non-existent. Consequently, it can be learned from private study by reading a few books on the subject.
Not all the great writers did creative writing degrees. Writers such as Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge didn’t. Creative writing courses are merely a symptom of the decadence creping into higher education, where you now even get degree and MA courses on writing for TV. This do-it-by-numbers approach to writing only produces mediocre work.
My gripe is: a) that Amis is a professor merely because of his celebrity; and b) and he is paid so much for so little work merely because of this. It is a straightforward point. I’m sure many would see it as a reasonable one. I don’t know why you are getting so agitated by it.
My remarks on Amis are not based on Eagleton's view of him. He has reason to be bitter. My remarks are based on the many academics who have come out in protest at Eagleton's sacking. Free speech is very important. And to be sacked because you criticised Amis is ironic considering Amis's stand on free speech.I am no fan of Eagleton by the way, as I disagree with his political views.
Here is a link to an article on Eagleton leaving Manchester University:
Quote from article:
"The thought of retiring to help pay the salary of his opponent rankles with Eagleton who told the Observer: 'It is certainly profoundly odd that during this financial crisis they can afford to hire someone like him'".
Pamplemousse, still £80,000 for 3 hours a fortnight isn’t bad. The question is: Is he value for money? Will he increase student enrolment to the university and therefore income via student fees? As a previous poster here said, it seems the students don't like him much for his various comments.
It just seems to me that his job is a token one, given to him because of its public relations value for Manchester University. No disrespect to creative writing students, but can’t you learn most of it in a book? I mean, it’s not particle physics is it. And why do we need creative writing courses anyway? How many great novelists needed to go on one? Few I imagine--including Amis heimself.
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