This article interrogates contemporary writer François Bon’s conception of the creative writing workshop in the light of work by political philosopher Jacques Rancière on intellectual emancipation. Bon’s radical programme, based on over twenty years’ experience as one of France’s leading practitioners of the writing workshop, in Tous les mots sont adultes: méthode pour l’atelier d’écriture (revised edition, 2005), is examined alongside the critique of ordinary pedagogy in Rancière’s Le Maître ignorant: cinq leçons sur l’émancipation intellectuelle (1987), his account of the maverick nineteenth-century educationalist Joseph Jacotot. After setting out and discussing the principles of Bon’s creative writing workshops and of Rancière’s approach, this article compares the way in which Bon and Rancière seek to create equality within the pedagogical encounter, before asking to what extent their work also succeeds in suggesting how the cause of equality may be furthered in the wider world. It will be argued that the creative writing workshop, as Bon conceives it, puts into practice aspects of the radical egalitarianism theorized by Rancière.


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pp. 178-191
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