Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mark Halliday

I found this disgusting quote from Mark Halliday on Bob Archambeau's blog:

"Will Clover or his admirers respond to my review? Probably not, though they blog constantly. Why should they respond? I'm on the other team (the lyrical and/or narrative mainstreamy team). We grant tenure to our players, they grant tenure to theirs; mostly we avoid shootouts."

This is from the same Mark Halliday that pushed Catherine Taylor out of the editorship of New Ohio Review (and ultimately out of his department) because her aesthetics challenged his old conventions.

I don't know what is more disgusting - the fact that he unabashedly says this, or the fact that a lot of people are already working under this assumption without openly admitting it. He is right that a lot of hiring is ruled by team-loyalty, a practive I find aggravating (in large part because I'm not party of any teams!).

However, he is disengenous in several ways. To begin with, he makes it seem like a fair enough truce, but the fact is that his team controls a vast majority of creative writing programs! A more accurate statement would be to say that we try to keep people who challenge our conventions out of creative writing teaching positions.

Another weird element to the quote: He desperately wants Team Clover to respond to him , but he also ridicules "blogging."


Blogger Max said...

I would argue that the academic environment demands this type of activity, though. Naive, fair-minded individuals stand back and take offense at the idea that the system might call for "teams" to exist, but it does. And each team rewards its own. To argue that one team has a larger membership than another is beside the point. Those numbers will shift with time, and new teams will emerge to take part in the wars all over again. Navigating through professional academia entails participating in a lot of bullshit that has nothing to do with writing whatsoever. No big surprise there.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Fran├žois Luong said...

I thought you and I were on the same "team" (you know, non-native anglophones who write in English and who also translate).

12:10 PM  
Blogger Amish Trivedi said...

I hope to be a back up on Team Johannes.

This kind of comes back to my question about a certain school, no? In terms of elitism, etc.?

12:24 PM  
Blogger mark wallace said...

There was another discussion related to Halliday's review on the Ploughshares blog that might be worth a read:

1:00 PM  
Blogger Archambeau said...

I'm going to join whichever team has the cooler uniforms for the fall season.

Seriously, though: hadn't heard about the bad business in Ohio. Yikes.


12:20 PM  

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