Unintended Subtext: You Sad Mediocrities…

I enjoyed reading Janette Turner Hospital‘s novel, “Oyster“. However, the letter she sent to her former MFA students at the University of South Carolina may be her most (unintentionally) insightful work to date.


Columbia Writing Professor Sends World’s Haughtiest Email to Former Students

Janette Turner Hospital is the author of Orpheus Lost and other books, and a professor at Columbia. She sent MFA students at her old school, the University of South Carolina, the following note about their inferiority. It is amazing.

“As for news from this very different MFA planet, I’m in seventh heaven teaching here, and not only because I have Orhan Pamuk (whom I hope to bring to USC for Caught in the Creative Act), Oliver Sacks, Simon Schama, Richard Howard, Margo Jefferson, etc., etc., as colleagues, though that is obviously part of it.

My students also live and move and write in seventh heaven and in a fever of creative excitement. Columbia’s MFA is rigorous and competitive but students don’t just have publication as a goal – they take that for granted, since about half the graduating class has a book published or a publishing contract in hand by graduation – so they have their sights set on Pulitzers.”


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2 responses to “Unintended Subtext: You Sad Mediocrities…

  1. Pingback: Self-Delusion and Blowing Your Load | Dennis Y. Ginoza

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