Monday, December 17, 2007

take that, Ayn Rand

I'm not entirely sure what the blog Push the Key is really all about, but it says it's meant to "improve the book industry, while improving YOU" - and "written and published by experts in the book industry - contains refreshingly irreverent, bull's-eye insights for book industry professionals."

Anyway, Andrew Grabois, one of the book-industry folks who contributes to this blog saw the Times piece about the Writers House and decide that what we are doing is a blow against Ayn Rand's rational individualism and laissez-faire creativity. Or perhaps he was (merely) referring to the Wharton School (which, he says somewhat accurately, dominates Penn) as Randian, with, thus, the Writers House set against it.

"Some good news from the University of Pennsylvania.

"The New York Times reports that in the midst of this huge research institution anchored by the famed Wharton School of Business, a fragile and unlikely flower has bloomed.

"The Kelly Writers House, a three-story Tudor that used to be home to the university chaplain, has become a community and oasis for aspiring writers and those who care about writing. Kelly House hosts readings, workshops, seminars, conferences, high-school clinics, and other events. A number of noted writers have given readings at Kelly House, including Richard Ford, John Updike, and Cynthia Ozick.

"Al Filreis, an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is the faculty director of Writers House, and the one responsible for its success. Dr. Filreis not only acts as a den mother, mentor, and advocate, he also aggressively recruits literary souls for Writers House."

Here's your link.