George Walford: Domination (56)

DOMINATION tends to spread, and the universities display this feature as much as do the other authoritarian institutions. Reviewing a clutch of books on the practice and theory of writing fiction, Malcolm Bradbury tells (not with any hostile intent), how the number of Creative Writing courses has increased. Until quite recently, in the time of Pound, Eliot and Stevens, literary criticism and its theory were practiced and developed by people who had made their reputations as independent writers, possessing and requiring no other qualification. Since the war the academics have taken over this activity and now they seek to bring the writing of fiction under control. Bradbury does not speculate about the future and you don’t, yet, have to have a certificate from a Creative Writing course before submitting your work to a publisher; but you already have to compete with people able to offer that evidence of official approval.

from Ideological Commentary 56, May 1992.