Exploded Prose: Great Writers Steal
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Writing
Department: Writing Program
Course Number: NWRW 3351
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
T. S. Eliot's statement that mediocre writers borrow but great writers steal is less about promoting plagiarism than it is about finding inspiration and source material everywhere and making it your own. In this course, we discuss how to find and use secondary texts, including nonbook sources like the Internet, to create an innovative prose essay or short nonfiction piece that maintains the integrity of your individual voice and original intention. We read and discuss Eliot's "The Waste Land" alongside Nelson Algren's prose poem essay about urban political corruption, "Chicago: City on the Make," as well as examples of short prose by the flarf poetry collective. Supported by discussions, directed in-class writings, and suggestions for at-home writing based on the texts, each writer creates an innovative essay that blends found text with original language and imagery.