A moment in teaching 'Tender Buttons'
When I was a grad student in the MFA program at Brown, I also had the pleasure of teaching undergrad creative writing classes there. The students were bright, engaged, motivated — partly because they had to fight for a spot to be in the class in the first place. But I had no idea how to teach — I threw readings at the students without any kind of preparation, not having the slightest clue what that would entail, anyway. After being assigned Tender Buttons as a reading, one of the students reported to me the following week that he had read it, and was convinced that he, too, could write this nonsensical jibberish. So he did — he tried — and only in such an attempt did he come face to face with the strange, brilliant pleasure that is this text. I couldn’t have planned a better lesson.