THERE HAVE BEEN a spate of articles online about the latest goofy n+1 idea, now available in book form, called “MFA versus New York.” This has to be the most ridiculous statement made by any group of writers, at least since 2008, when the n+1 crowd publicly predicted “the end of oil”— right before vast new pools of oil were discovered across the globe, and new technologies created for obtaining it.
Their latest discussion is ridiculous because it ignores exciting real change in the literary realm: the rise of self-published ebooks.
At least some literary commentators recognize that both worlds of MFA workshops and New York “Big Six” publishing are in collapse, such as this article by Sonia Saraiya, “The Bleak State of American Fiction.”
But even Sonia Saraiya is wearing blinders. She ignores ebooks and the DIY world, and refuses to consider new options. Namely, creating fiction which can be pop and “literary” (significant) BOTH. The future won’t be bleak for those who discover a way out.
Anyway, there’s more intelligence presented in the Comments section to Saraiya’s article than in the entirety of the new n+1 book.
(An aside: Doesn’t n+1’s very title scream “pseudo-intellectual”? You just know these are the same kind of people to be found blatantly reading Derrida or other unreadable tome at the local overpriced hipster coffeehouse or bar.)