"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Literature Sector: Production Values

The following appears in the latest newsletter of the Welsh Academi. Comment, I think, is superfluous:

"Creative & Cultural Skills is inviting the literature sector to contribute to a new plan to develop the skills needs of the industry. The Literature Blueprint will be a workforce development plan for literature in the UK. It will analyse the skills needs of the literature sector and propose key actions in response.
The plan is focused on creative writers and those who support them. They would like to hear a range of views from the sector, from writers across different disciplines to writers’ networks and anyone who works to support the development of the literature sector. The plan will be UK-wide.
Tom Bewick, Group Chief Executive, Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “The UK is rightly proud of its literature sector, which encompasses a range of working practices and business models. To ensure the continued success of the sector in a time of intense technological and economic change, we need to focus now on developing those skills that will be needed in the future.”
Antonia Byatt, Director, Literature Strategy at Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted to have been partners with Creative & Cultural Skills in developing the Literature Blueprint. To ensure that everybody can access high-quality literature experiences, both now and in the future, is at the heart of our work, and the development of skills is vital in this aim.”


Andrew said...
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Andrew said...

This literature sector shows genuine strategic promise in the accumulative linguistic sense if, and only and particualrly if, promoted and harnessed incrementally by the appropriately skilled and motivated sectors of the wider sociological population sections; specifically those of latter same functioning in the most prominently staturated regions of the economic superstructure.
Then one could with aspirations of a high-density nature genuinely expect the the literature sector to accept affirmatively the invitation to contribute to the new plan to develop the skills needs of the industry, and so justify itself in a modular fashion in those specific accesso-specifico terms.

William Palmer said...

Does 'access high-quality literature experiences' mean opening a book?

Where on earth do these enemies of thought come from? Perhaps we are living beside a parallel universe, which leaches a constant supply of these strange art apparatchiks. Their one task in life is to meet up with each other in bright book-less offices and conspire to produce these streams of meaningless logorrhoea to confound and depress poor earthlings.

And they're paid to do it. Now that is clever.

Andrew said...

Well William, the man said to be the most powerful individual political force in Britain, & the great driving force of the movement into Europe, is Peter Mandelson, in his youth Communist Party member. Presumably noone seriously accuses Mandelson of idealism in the positive sense, leaving us with idealism in the traditional state communist sense of soulless totalitarianism. He recently asserted that all education would have to justify itself on the basis of its contribution to the economy, which is a seamless extension of the applied materialism behind ideologies like state communism, as well as consumerism. So this is where these enemies of thought are coming from. They've somehow immersed themselves so completely in the driving ethos of the mainstream present, that all signs of organic life have drained from their beings.

William said...

Andrew, the state communism model is virtually dead everywhere except North Korea, but the impulse towards thought management continues. One of the reasons for Stalin's mass purges of the mid 1930s was to remove the last vestiges of idealism - mainly in men and women over, roughly speaking, thirty-five who could remember the stated purpose of revolution - and to replace them with a new class of docile functionaries and managers. Together with this went a profound restructuring and degradation of the written and spoken language into jargon and self-contradictory nonsense that could only be tautologically justified by reference to itself.

This is not confined to political systems. The drive to conformity in personality and language now infects all self-perpetuating managerial oligarchies; especially those bodies which are non-productive of goods or services themselves and which are staffed by persons who combine an unctuous concern for the public good with a desire to rook the public purse for as much as they possibly can- see banks, arts councils, local government executives, hospital trusts, the higher reaches of academia and so on - and on and on.

Nicholas Murray said...

Yesterday's "Guardian", William, had evidence of the academic snouts deep in the trough. In particular, my alma mater, Liverpool University, last week called me to beg for money. Now it transpires from the Guardian report that the Vice-Chancellor, as his contribution to belt-tightening in "the higher education sector" has increased his salary by 20 per cent and now earns nearly £400,000 a year, twice the salary of the Prime Minister and a 112 of his colleagues are paying themselves over £100,000. As a graduate of Liverpool's English Department I am a full time author living on less than the minimum wage. I politely declined to contribute but had I known the recent facts I might have been inclined to refuse in a more oafish manner.

William said...

Nick, it would not have been oafish, but understandable to remind the ruling bodies at Liverpool (and every other university) that their plush jobs exist only because the university exists, and not the other way round.

And, blimey, I have just read the complete Literature Blueprint at the Creative and Cultural Skills Council website (www.ccskills.org.uk)
It is masterpiece of obfuscation, endless repetition, idiotic misrepresentation, a naivety about the real world that is startling in its totality. Its main purpose seems to be to perpetuate the 'work' of the CCS. I would like to find it funny, but it exists on a level far beyond the comic. The most capable satirist would not be able to parody this wholly self-parodic document.

Anonymous said...