In this talk, Jordy Rosenberg addresses the moment of "pre-craft," or the elements by which we conceptualize a project, the moment of commitment to that project, and the process of giving an idea form. Simply put: how do we know and decide what *kind* of book we want to write? Fiction? Non-fiction? Creative non-fiction? Poet's Novel? Contemporary fiction is, on the one hand, startlingly formless; arguably the line between poetry and prose, for example, has never been this arbitrary, and meanwhile literary fiction has itself cannibalized genre elements previously remanded to the realm of "mass culture." On the other hand, and - as Mark McGurl has argued - literature has become unprecedentedly reified into microgenres via the rise of Amazon. We will discuss the process of imagining what kind of literary work we are writing within this contradictory context, and how to commit to it. Of particular interest will be questions of how to approach history and historical fiction, as well as how to leap from scholarly to literary forms of writing. We will touch on craft elements, but my main concern has to do with the eruption of a project from the unconscious, and the transformation of that unconscious thought into an aesthetic form. Accordingly, some prompts to pre-craft thought will be offered. In addition to prose fiction, texts such as jos charles's feeld and Nirvana's 1990 single, "Sliver" will also make an appearance.
Co-sponsored by the NYU Creative Writing Program, XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement, Liberal Studies, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU