I’ve fallen into the habit of not thinking about post-avantists and other self-diddlers, but every once in a while I run across something that brings them to mind. Yesterday it was this 1977 Paris Review interview with Kurt Vonnegut, in which he remarks:
I’m on the New York State Council for the Arts now, and every so often some other member talks about sending notices to college English departments about some literary opportunity, and I say, Send them to the chemistry departments, send them to the zoology departments, send them to the anthropology departments and the astronomy departments and physics departments, and all the medical and law schools. That’s where the writers are most likely to be. […] I think it can be tremendously refreshing if a creator of literature has something on his mind other than the history of literature so far. Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak.
That last sentence should be tattooed somewhere on all writing program students, don’t you think? As a graduation requirement, I mean.