As a writer, it’s all very interesting to be able to brag about Baudrillard, Cixous, Bhabha, Spivak, or any other fancy-panter out there. But is it actually helpful to your writing to know about literary theories and criticisms?
I’ve been exposed to lots of new and confusing ideas at uni, most of it going in one ear and out the other by the time the semester is through. I’ve retained a little, but not nearly enough as others in my classes who can actually say they’re a ‘fan of Foucault’ (well, I’m a big fan of Anne Rice. Does that count for anything?).
It may be interesting to learn about (although not as much fun to read), but in terms of creativity, I don’t know if my stories and poems are any better off for having studied all these people.
Which leaves me wondering, was there any point?
I don’t read a text thinking, “Oh, look how postmodern he’s being!”, or “That character is very Derridean”. And I don’t write a story with simulacrum or the subaltern or humanism in mind. I’m just not that kind of reader/writer.
And maybe that’s a good thing after 4 years of being told to analyse analyse analyse.