Unhoused

May 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

Andrea Barrett, “Andrea Barrett, The Art of Fiction No. 180″ by Elizabeth Gaffney, The Paris Review 168 (Winter 2003)

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this feeling of not being at home is part of what made you into a writer?

BARRETT
Sure. I’ve never known a writer who didn’t feel ill at ease in the world. Have you? We all feel unhoused in some sense. That’s part of why we write. We feel we don’t fit in, that this world is not our world, that though we may move in it, we’re not of it. Different experiences in our lives may enforce or ameliorate that, but I think if they ameliorate it totally, we stop writing. You don’t need to write a novel if you feel at home in the world. We write about the world because it doesn’t make sense to us. Through writing, maybe we can penetrate it, elucidate it, somehow make it comprehensible. If I had ever found the place where I was perfectly at home, who knows what I would have done? Maybe I would have been a biologist after all. No great loss if that had been the case, but it didn’t work out that way.

See Mary Ruefle.

My Virtual Novel Was Worth More Than My Actual Novel

May 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

Ben Lerner, 10:04, 2014

“Well, your first book was unconventional but really well received. What they’re buying when they buy the proposal is in part the idea that your next book is going to be a little more … mainstream. I’m not saying they’ll reject what you submit, although that’s always possible; I’m saying it may have been easier to auction the idea of your next book whatever you actually draft.”

I loved this idea: my virtual novel was worth more than my actual novel.

Deep Inside the Moment

May 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Nick Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth

I love the feeling of a song before you understand it. When we’re all playing deep inside the moment. The song feels wild and unbroken. Soon it will become domesticated, and we will drag it back to something familiar and compliant, and we’ll put it in the stable with all the other songs. But there is a moment when the song is still in charge, and you just cling on for dear life, and you’re hoping you don’t fall off and break your neck or something. It is that fleeting moment that we chase in the studio.

See Peter Markus.

Object in the World

April 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Donald Barthelme, “Not-Kowing,” Not Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme (1997)

Mallarmé’s work is also, and perhaps most importantly, a step towards establishing a new ontological status for the poem, as an object in the world rather than a representation of the world.

The Bugles of Silence

March 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

Léon Bloy, “Le Musicien du silence” (1893)

I [the composer Pouyadou] could point you to important pieces written for a set of completely voiceless trumpets that I call the bugles of Silence, after the model of the unrecoverable buccins that once overthrew the walls of Jericho [via].

The Other Novel

March 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Lydia Davis, The End of the Story

I’m afraid I may realize after the novel is finished that what actually made me want to write it was something different, and that it should have taken a different direction. But by then I will not be able to go back and change it, so the novel will remain what it is and the other novel, the one that should have been written, will never be written.

Faulkner and Failure

March 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

William Faulkner, “William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12″ by Jean Stein, The Paris Review 12 (Spring 1956)

None of my work has met my own standards.

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