Assumptions and the Class Divides they Confirm


In the mid-1970s, when I was young and even more ignorant of the ways of the world than I am today, I learned that it was becoming necessary to have completed an MFA to get a paid position in the arts world. This struck me as ridiculous, a sheepskin standing in for actual work created. After all, I’d gotten the joke—when the Scarecrow starts spouting mathematics on being presented a diploma—of The Wizard of Oz by the time I was five.

Yesterday, I read an article by Lorraine Berry on Literary Hub that includes this:

Last year, I went to a writing conference in Boston. One of the first panel discussions was about how a writer claims authority, how it is that a writer asserts that he or she possesses the expertise to write about a topic, and how concomitantly the editor reading through the submission slush pile can determine whether…

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