Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don't Deke Margaret

There's no rule that says writers have to get along, despite the fact that they share a creative impulse. In fact, writers are often portrayed as being inherently solitary, even melancholy life-forms who understand well what Dennis Lee calls "the difficulty of living on other planets." That said, it's nice when you meet other writers, and they turn out to be silly people very much like yourself. Once you realize that, you can start asking other people honest questions about your own work, knowing that they aren't going to skewer you, or worse, annihilate you with faint praise. I always find it slightly intimidating to ask another writer's opinion, either about their own work or anyone else's, including mine. Academics can be touchy, after all. Don't tell me you don't like Aphra Behn. Seriously, I will kick you and refuse to be your friend, or simply shake my head in sad confoundedness.

Literary theory devoted to creative writing is a new field for me, and I'm always looking for quality feminist work that reflects a modality of different techniques leading, ultimately, to whatever we want to call a creative text. Writers like Sina Queyras, Heather Milne, Nalo Hopkinson, Ursula K Leguin, Nicole Brossard, Margaret Atwood, and Chip Delany come to mind. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

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