Not much courage, anyway. From the excellent long essay “Poetry Slam: Or, The decline of American verse”, by Mark Edmundson, in Harper’s for July 2013:
“I found myself once talking with a fiction writer, a woman of considerable achievement and reputation, about the MFA program in which she taught. I put forward the idea that students came to the university to hide out, to show up for a few classes while the scholarship program financed them, however meagerly, and they pushed forward trying to write the Great American Novel. Not so. I had it wrong, my friend said. What the students wanted was not glory — not if glory meant high risk and the chance of failure. They were there to get a union card: most of them wanted a degree, a published volume, an assistant professorship at this college or that, and then another volume, which would put them one step away from the Grail.”
I have young friends who think differently. A BIG novel is coming, one from a real writer and even a real publisher. Watch this space.
I’d contrast “Death or Glory” to the song in the post title, but it is not “just another story”…