Thursday, October 28, 2004

Story Report: Aimee Bender

"Debbieland" in the $12 BLACK CLOCK magazine celebrating MFA writing.

Stupidity is everyplace.

"Debbie wore the skirt all the girls had been wearing, but she wore it two months too late."

Here we see right away the typical MFA regression into adolescence. The prose is appropriately simple-minded, without question because the writer is simple-minded, and has nothing to write about. She's a designated "writer," her vacuous story merely an excuse for the designation, credits, and job teaching creative writing at the University of Southern California. (A pretend job where she teaches simple-minded wannabes how to write pretend stories similar to hers.)

"And today! The girl has something for her! Something for Debbie!"

Reading this "story" is embarrassing. Its author exposes herself as fully as the emperor without clothes.

"We do not speak to our mothers. Long ago we gave up on our mothers."

Goo goo ga ga.

The story is filled with an obsessive solipsism, analyzing every trivial detail of human interaction.

"She is, apparently, in between eyebrow maintenance."

This has import solely because it's something that happened to the narrator. The event has no importance in itself-- but because the narrator (read: the writer, Aimee Bender) is the center of the universe, it has to be important, no matter how trivial; no matter how stupid.

"Yes. Oh, we are sorry, we say, because at this age it is appropriate to say, even though we do not know if we are sorry."

I wish Aimee Bender would be sorry for having written this idiotic story! She ends with a typical "literary" riff that means nothing, but sounds good:

"There are endless tears to hunt down and possess. To provoke or extract or soothe. We are delighted with this new world, this world full of possibility."

Run to the nearest washroom and throw up.

3 comments:

Adam Hardin said...

Go to the Black Clock online and follow that to the MFA writing program link, and look at the writing samples of the students.

It is as Bad as Bad gets.

Noah Cicero said...

We are delighted with this new world, this world full of possibility." Hmm, that is a really great intelligent thing to say during a depression. I can't even afford to go to a state university and my chucks have holes in them. She sounds like a capitalist trying to sell false hope to the poor so they won't revolt.

"There are endless tears to hunt down and possess. To provoke or extract or soothe." I have no idea what that means.

Tao Lin said...

generalizing a kind of 'MFA writing' is cliche, inaccurate, and, well, generalizing