Friday, September 24, 2010

Unedifying results

There is a glibness to all of these essays (written in response to a college-application-style prompt with a constraint of one hour), but they would be perhaps worth contemplating by those in a position where such such constraints are familiar (college applicants, academic job-seekers, etc.).

Also at the Guardian: Ed Pilkington interviews Jonathan Franzen. Hard to see how one would read this interview and not feel that almost any life would be better than the novelist's ("I don't owe anybody anything and I don't have to feel bad today because I just wrote 1,200 words")!


  1. Potentially very useful, thanks! I think Beard comes off best of the lot despite (or because of?) being the most rambling. I'm reminded of this set of highly amusing 15-minute poem write-offs on set themes that they had a few years ago -- I remember Mary Jo Salter and Glyn Maxwell being among the contestants -- irritatingly I can't find the link...

  2. Ah here we go.

  3. Unless the 1,200 words were all badly written, of course.