¶ ‘(I’m Looking for a Model for a Novel called)
Public Domain’ †
A monologue in which an imagined writer thinks on their processes, thinks on an imagined work for the current century composed out of the detritus of the previous. A look-book of twenty-first-century interpretations of twentieth-century experiments; a chorus of conflicting opinions looking for a little harmony. The writer’s voice is a plagiarism—with every sentence, clause or sub-clause lifted from interviews with authors and makers published by magazines without paywall.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky.
Well, I’m going to write a novel about the last 10 years of my life; [I’ll write] with nostalgia, with an unthinking affection whose real name is undoubtedly loyalty, [I’ll write it all down]. It has been one hundred years since the Russian Revolution, five hundred years since Martin Luther, [and now] I have become a tragic chronicler.
I am interested [only] in collective characters; the entire slow-motion train wreck in all its brutality. I think that unlike what happens in the bourgeois novel—which is based on the individual and his personal struggle within a society—the collective character struggles politically, together with others like him, in order to transform society. I would like to see a miracle in biology and see better, stronger, wholesome, more enlightened, people born. I'm looking for a new person, in other words, to be created, biologically. That’s what the writing was for. I’m like [the vigil]—the lookout guy on a boat who does small jobs, shoveling stuff into a boiler, but I’m no navigator—absolutely the opposite. I wander around the boat, find odd places—the masts, the gunwale—and then simply look out at the ocean. Being aware of travelling has nothing to do with being a navigator. I like being in one place that I love and staying there. The only time it didn’t work was when I was in California and very unhappy. [In California] you become aware of the interconnected biological, physiological, political abhorrence of the world as it was; you are not fighting for what the Western world calls material self-interest, [In California] you are stuck with it.
I don’t understand the whole concept of form and forms very well, nor the various ways different forms and genres get distinguished and classified. Nor do I much care, really. I don’t think so, but I don’t pretend to know. Fiction, nonfiction—the two are bleeding into each other all the time. I don’t think a reasonable assessment of what I’ve been up to in the last however-many-years is possible if one accepts segregation. There is a before, made up of fragments of memory, and an after, when the story begins. I didn’t have a manifesto; I had some discontent. You take your love where you get it, I guess… There are two ways to rank writers: in terms of gift, and [then] in terms of achievement. Who is better off? This poor fellow who is desperately neurotic to the point of being amnesic and wandering in and out of fugues as bad off as he was? Or the so-called well-adjusted, productive businessman, and so forth, who is clinically sane by the same standards? The difference concerns essentially two points, first the relationship of the New Left to traditional bourgeois culture, and secondly the possibility of carrying theory into practice.
The subcultures of the computer might offer that fertile ground; text is being repurposed every day, by all of us, be it by retweeting someone or by telling a joke you heard or adopting an idea someone else had. It’s a reality. In this sense, authorship is a useless concept from the start, and any text is fair game. So, what really counts in both cases is who is the clergy, or middleman, or interpreter: we derive a lot of the reality of ourselves through interactions with others; don’t you? It’s that collision, that contradiction, that really appeals to me. I think it’s easy to judge that uncertainty and that dialogue from the outside, and be like, Well, just who are you? You need to figure it out before you get out there. [It is an] issue of available real estate; Mexican soap operas turned over so fast the actors don’t have time to learn their lines. It’s a lousy pageant, what I have in mind; [it] is not simply a space for the expression of any kind of disagreement, but a confrontation between conflicting notions about how to organize society.
But I have evolved into more of a passive observer, I’m not taking sides.
I am quite agoraphobic.
I’ve no stake in my being thought a writer. Yet, if I do write, I want it to be as exacting as I can make it.
Few first-class creative writers have ever bothered with journalism, except as a sideline, “hackwork,” something to be done when the creative spirit is lacking, or as a means of making money quickly. Such writers say in effect: Why should we trouble with factual writing when we’re able to invent our own stories, contrive our own characters and themes? Journalism is only literary photography, and unbecoming to the serious writer’s artistic dignity.
I knew I could get by as a journalist: the “I” character in journalism is almost pure invention. We all always pretend to be the masters of our fate, and all the journalists, whether serious or not, contribute to this hoax. I don’t want to know; I didn’t have the time for it.
My purpose [has always been] to employ facts as tentative probes; I have a short list here:
I’m always attacked for liking Brian De Palma so much; I am no longer so troubled by the passage of time; I don’t divide my life, [I] just go on living; Compared to someone like James Jones, I’m an amateur at military detail; There is a type of writer that can happily bury themselves in the country and dig very deep, but I’m not like that; I [need] to have a mudslide, I [need] to have an out-of-control fire, I needed to have certain things that are part of our imagination of Los Angeles; Money won in a game does not leave the game; it must be burnt up, consumed like that, in the game; Robert Christgau wrote an essay called “Rock Lyrics are Poetry (Maybe),” which was very instructive because he knew the difference between poetry and ersatz: When you read it’s as if the gangster John Dillinger was being described in heroic couplets; I always like to have something to focus on, [but] I can’t help but write like I’m on a VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ documentary; I feel I’m still processing [an image]: the upper-middle class Western “I;” a picture of me eating money. I had this big, bloated face [and] I couldn’t revise or rewrite it if I wanted to.
I’ve started to wonder whether what I read as a child wasn’t more important. For a lot of people who write autobiographically, memory becomes the main subject, rather than action. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. It’s just that memory is not very interesting to me as a subject;I’m interested in performative writing, I guess—I like it to have heat, or to feel like you’re moving with something;I don’t have a lot of time for gauziness. It’s like, “let the writing perform that the memory is false,” but I don’t need to tell you me that in words.
What is my hot material? Oh yes, since the age of eight I have been madly scribbling; but, let me say here and now, I do not appear in any of my works. Yes. I had reada lot of stories. It seemed to me impossible not to want to write one. I was greatly struck by Emil Ludwig’s biography of Napoleon, which is written in the historical present. It impressed me so enormously that I began to write the biography of Napoleon myself, though heavily cribbed from Emil Ludwig. I was eight at the time. I read the biography of Madame Curie by her daughter, Eve Curie, when I was about six, so, at first, I thought I was going to be a chemist. Then for a long time, most of my childhood, I wanted to be a physician. But literature swamped me. I loved the idea of an external shape imposed on the story. I like embracing kind of normal forms but am always trying to approach them as if no one’s ever done that before. As if I’m literally the first person to ever write a book.
I keep complaining about the money problem of the art world, but I must say, that without that money I wouldn’t be here talking to you. My father was buried in this dry, badly chosen piece of land—if you don’t water it, it turns brown. There’s a pump where you can pour water into a can, and all around that pump there’s this lush little greenery from spilling. It reminds me a bit of my work. There’s a rush of money going to water some grave over there, and I’m growing up around its source. Barely surviving, until the gravedigger stamps on me, or something. I couldn’t sustain anything. I’ve increasingly grown to feel that, for my own work at least, I don’t want to inhabit only that one context of the circulation of gifts. What you really need to do is put one book on top of another.
Yes, I generally think of myself as an author. [I] also think of the idea of authorship, and anti-authorship, and appropriating certain types of writing, taking credit for that writing, maybe manipulating it, or writing something and giving someone else credit for it, or fake quotations, or a kind of mixture of real quotations and manipulated quotations, trying to blend them in such a way that even I didn’t know where one began and the other ended.
I wanted to write a book with pages missing in all the right places.
I was impressed by an Ingmar Bergman movie I saw years ago—I can’t remember the name of it—in which a woman tells the story of her life, which has been full of tragic experiences. She’s telling the story in the dressing room of a theater where she is about to go on and perform in a ballet. At the end of it she says, “But I am happy.” Then it says, “The End.” We’re the doctor diagnosing the disease; bad restaurants fail all by themselves.
This is what the hunger is about: whether we’re hungry for some kind of affection, or something else;my position [always] gets cartooniseda bit. Anyway, [as] Schwitters said, ‘The artist creates, the critic bleats.’ You drain the reservoir, [and] there’d never be anything to eat.
I did want to—in a sense—create a novel without a hero, but while [they] remain the central figure, facets all about him are carrying out his—the fashionable word today I guess—persona. You’re at it for the language, I guess. I used to think that the issue of searching for influences was in fashion, and I asked myself why I, in reading and writing so much, had never felt that fear of contaminating myself with someone else’s work. I look, I listen. It’s flat, it’s nothing, it’s nil. Me, I’ve slipped the spoken word into print. In one sole shot.
What’s fictional is arrangement—what follows what. If somebody is lying to you, part of what they’re doing is hiding things, omitting stuff, changing the order of things. And that’s fiction. I’m not just trying to entertain somebody, I’m trying to tellsomebody something that I mean. It will be interpreted by everybody as a form of entertainment.
[But] a writer worried about reception while writing is cooking a dead book, don’t you think?
Yes, I realized that I’ve already said practically everything I wanted to say.
And participation is a kind of consumption, yes? I don’t tell anyone how to write and no one tells me: I never had a clear idea. We are a pretty self-actualized, self-worshipping crowd of postmoderns and the idea that for all of our wherewithal and discretionary income and leisure, we’re still fated by indifferent gods, feels to us antiquated and superstitious. There are attachments we make in life, even though it’s all going to come to an end, that are worth so much, and we’re so lucky to have been able to experience them. Maybe that’s what Bergman was writing about.
As a TV watcher, I’m always delighted when I can see a thing without knowing anything about it because of the promotion; the work environment that we create has to be transparent and you have to be able to brook dissent. I have to rebuild myself every morning. I saw Alfred Kazin on television. He was extolling the novel at the expense of film. But I didn’t agree. One is not comparable with the other. He had too much respect for the printed word. Good films are better than bad books, and when they’re both great, they’re great and worthwhile in different ways.
When I first started watching television, I wasn’t very serious about it, but then I saw the TV coverage of the Kennedy assassination and was really impressed; it was [a] defining moment. The beginning of a documentary phase of television. You could feel its influence everywhere.If you go back and look at the pilot of Cheers, for example, there’s no one in the bar. It’s completely empty, [a] kind of a dingy bar. I suppose I was interested in these modes of solitude. I was interested in drinking. It’s about an experience of living in a series of remote places. [But] literature has become too psychological. We discount the physical, when in fact much of life is physical. People’s personalities are partly formed by, or in response to, how they take up space; the physical mask has some relation, howsoever obscure, to the mental work happening underneath. I tend to see my characters from inside and outside at once; this is a technique I use to retain a slight distance. I have to admit, when I was younger, I watched situation comedies more than I watched dramas, so I remember the last episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which I really loved, and this was even a little later, but the ending of the second [Bob] Newhart show, where it was all a dream and he wakes up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette. Now everyone likes comedy. But back then, I was just alone in a library, looking up articles about Lenny Bruce’s death, not mentioning it to anybody. My personal belief is that because technology and economic logic has gotten so sophisticated, cruelties can be perpetrated now that would have been unimaginable two or three hundred years ago. Maybe that is what Cheerswas about. For me, it’s about reading the city in terms of its absences, but it’s also about capturing a sense of fragility and political negligence, and questioning literature’s role in all that. When I deal with popular imagery as a source of influence in my work, I use it as a critically distancing process. I don’t use the word ironywhen I speak of my work, I’d rather use the word humour.
For a long time, I didn’t think about any of this stuff and I was writing regularly, like every day. Sending stories in the mail, that kind of thing. But I never wrote about anything like this. “Confessional” implies some sort of shame, and I think it can lead to some difficult positioning—editors keen for a writer to entertain, provoke or provide insight into unusual experiences; readers wanting a writer to go ever further in revealing something intimate or scandalous; writers trying to decide what to give away and what to retain. Once you put yourself in a position where everything that happens to you is potential material, all of your relationships and experiences potentially become warped. What do you do if your life just doesn’t generate sufficiently “interesting” material? Why do I write? The answer to that is unknowable. I probably do so because I’m moved by things I read and feel an urge to imitate them. The first thing I remember writing I copied verbatim from a magazine. I was keeping myself alive by doctoring books; the telephone book and the obituary columns. I’m getting too mystical now, I know.
I don’t sit at a work-station, meaning a writing desk, and I don’t stare at the laptop hoping to get an idea, but work in my head starting from the assumption that literature is my work. Putting aside personal reasons, the fact is that when I began to write I was living in very difficult circumstances: I had no writing desk and was never alone. So, I got used to beginning sentences in my head, and if they were promising I kept adding to them until the sentence came to a natural end. It was at that point I wrote it down. That’s the way I do things, even now, in the most unlikely places, at the most unlikely times—in other words I am continually at work. I’m always trying in writing to be amateurish. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else’s dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it. The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream. The problem for an engagé writer, as they call them now, is to continue being a writer. [But,] in a way, I have come to a bad end; well, I have survived, and [I guess,] I think maybe that’s enough.
The temptation towards resolution—towards wrapping up the package—seems to me a terrible trap. If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, [probably.] Despair strikes me as eminently reasonable and boring. I have no patience for artists whose primary function is to articulate their art’s impossibility, who in a sense commodify melancholy—just as I have no interest in artists who are purely affirmative, who’ve made a commercialized fetish of the culture’s stupidity. They don’t know the difference between calling a character “silly” and realizing that they are reading a masterpiece of created, located, visionary “silliness.”
[And there is], the readability scandal? If you consider the current situation in Greece or Italy you have evidence of this, useful things are literally disappearing from the landscape. So, I have the impression that we are facing a form of nihilist production. Each time literary talent decreases, the philosophers gain.
When I was born, Detroit was the fourth-largest city in the country. The population stood at more than a million people. But people were already beginning to flee, and in 1967, when the riots occurred, the trickle turned into a flood. My entire childhood coincided with the demise of Detroit. I grew up watching houses and buildings fall apart and then disappear. It imbued my sense of the world with a strong elegiac quality—a direct experience of the fragility and evanescence of the material world. Any narrative passage or any passage, say, of poetic images is subject to any number of variations, all of which may be interesting and valid in their own right. But I was hearing a three-beat line: I try to imagine a world without words, a world without language, and the world collapses. Not private property, living people. So, ok, I’ll go back to the New Old World and start again, somewhat as if it was that 1960’s moment. But of course, a lot of the people now were dead, they were ghosts, and the places they were in had changed massively. Walking on the streets at night it felt like one was back in the American colonial past. I loved aspects of Spain in that way, and I frankly have the same sense of where I now am living in New Mexico. I can look out the window up into hills seven miles from where the Sandia Cave is located, perhaps the oldest evidence of man’s occupation of this hemisphere. I think it dates back to either 15,000 or 20,000 BC., and it’s still there. And again, I’m offered a scale, with mountains to the southeast—the Rio Grande coming through below us to the west—and then that wild range of mesa off to the west.
An American friend first visited Europe as a student and was disappointed that the castles didn’t look like the ones she’d seen in Disneyland as a child. She’d expected them to be pastel-colored and sparkly. As a child, I knew what European castles looked like. I was instinctually revolted by the Disney version—I knew castles didn’t really glitter, and I felt I must be being obscurely manipulated—but I had to engage in a kind of doublethink, knowing the Disney version might currently be more important. It’s like picking up an ashtray and staring so hard at it that one becomes obsessed by its contours, angles, texture, et cetera, and forgets that it is an ashtray—a glass dish for stubbing out cigarettes. “Narrative” and “Description” can be literary, but they don’t have to be. Well, content is never more than an extension of form and form is never more than an extension of content.
Modern happiness is not an inner value. At any rate, I didn’t want to see it as an inner value. It’s more like an almost technical relationship to your environment, to the world.... This is not the anxiety but the pleasure of influence. Is it more fun to drink a glass of water when you’re thirsty or eat a good meal when you’re hungry, no?
One day dovetailing into the next.
I rambled about the streets—Fifth Avenue—and got lost, but the people were always kind. I remember answering many questions about my work from tall, shy young men. In Texas they had told me to be afraid of New York, but I liked it. I don’t know. Of course, anything that happens to you has some bearing upon what you write. Perhaps a pattern can be detected after the fact, but as it proceeds, one’s development, though logical or inevitable in one sense, is in another sense chaotic.
A psychological biography begins with the childhood, the parents, the birth; The things that happen to me are things that happen to everybody. [I call my road] Avenue Montaigne.
I think writing has gotten now to the point of AT&T or Western Union syntax. It’s a kind of refutation of the conservation of matter, right? Writing about being a writer came pretty easily. The challenge was in framing it within the perspective of someone whose experience is very different from mine. When you don’t have success, you can glorify the fact, when you do have success, you can glorify it as well. Or, inversely, you can complain about having too much success, or none at all. It’s a Burger King, but it’s a palace.
I’m not enamored of the past as my image of perfection; I suppose that’s an anxiety it’s hard to not have if you’re making art—or writing—or making music. It seems more of an acknowledgement that everything is a reference to something else—that everything is an amalgam of references to a certain extent.
When I first started watching television, a sitcom where the arguments are over the use of the car, or that dad has taken up smoking a cigar, [didn’t] interest me. I [found] Face/Off disgusting, physically revolting and pornographic. In the first Scream, there is a very bloody scene in the kitchen at the end where the two killers are stabbing each other in a way that obviously is painful but not lethal, but then one is stabbed inaccurately and begins to bleed to death.Given what I was interested in, plot didn’t enter into it:what comes out is market, market, market, short-term pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, money, money, money, status, status, status.You’re not a legend; you are flesh and blood.
You know what I mean?
Like, there’s something more important than knowing it. It’s, like, feeling it.
My vocabulary was chosen out of the intensity of my concern.To think that narrative is to be bracketed within a certain realm such as television or novels or so on is just silly, I suppose. It’s about making other people feel bad about what they’re eating; [about] a certain knowledge that what you’re eating [should appear] more interesting. There is an Elvis Costello song where he says, “I want to bite the hand that feeds me; I want to bite that hand so badly.” It’s a routine. Generally, when we say routine, it sounds bad, but routine is important. Surveying all these fields, I came to understand that the question is always how one puts the pieces together. In some ways I think of the book as a response to falling in love with a museum. I was then—and I have not changed much—a very tight, tense, lean, abnormally ambitious, abnormally intelligent, and hungry black cat.
There are very many ways in which we communicate. And often it’s with grunts. [People talk] as if this [is] the natural way to talk. They would be interviewed on the morning shows or the evening news or whatever, CNN, reporters, all day long. They would tend to treat the way they were speaking as a quite reasonable way to talk.
I’m not saying this is bad or good; only that when it comes to matters of the self, and self-identity, society teaches you what’s allowable to feel and communicate, [but] People confuse the vernacular with the abrasive. It’s almost like a library voice that we’re supposed to use within the cultural world. Person A introduces you to Person B, and you tell them about Person C.
I’m not a Christian but [God] entered me through osmosis and it took 36 years for that concept to dissipate. I had the feeling of living in a house that kept growing all around me. I was aware of the room I was standing in, but then I’d become aware that it was lodged inside an even bigger room, or that there was another room that had newly appeared just off the end of the hallway, and I needed to explore that room, too. Passive-aggressive narcissism reigns in every scene. It was like the Winchester Mystery House—crazy passageways kept opening up, demanding to be explored, just when I thought I was done. There were cows at home in the byre across the yard. There was a horse in the stable. The stable was under the roof with the dwelling house, and one of the big comforting sounds quite often was the horse going nhrrrrrinthe stable at the other end of the house. We didn’t have a fire on the hearth, but we did have water from the pump, and there were wells around the place. Jesus says you should be like the birds, and then you can enter the kingdom of God. And Kierkegaard writes about how if a bird’s nest is destroyed, the next day he’s happily rebuilding it. The future just doesn’t exist if you’re a bird.
To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth. Just as the bullfighter teaches the bull, teaches him to follow, obey the cloth. We say the same things over and over and over and people choose not to listen; I’m not enlightened, so I guess wouldn’t know.
Do you have a light?
A list of sources, in alphabetical order:
Kathy Acker, interviewed in Bomb
César Aira, interviewed in Bomb
Judd Apatow, interviewed in Rolling Stone
Cory Arcangel, interviewed in Dazed & Confused
Antòn Arrufat, interviewed in The White Review
Edward Albee, interviewed in The Paris Review
Nelson Algren, interviewed in The Paris Review
Woody Allen, interviewed in The Paris Review
Aharon Appelfeld, interviewed in The Paris Review
John Ashbury, interviewed in The Paris Review
Robert Ashley, interviewed in Bomb
Hannes Bajohr, interviewed in Berfrois
James Baldwin, interviewed in Esquire
James Baldwin, interviewed in The Guardian
Alan Ball, in conversation in Interview Magazine
J. G. Ballard, interviewed in The Paris Review
Donald Barthelme, interviewed in The Paris Review
Jean Baudrillard, interviewed in Art Review
Jean Baudrillard, interviewed in CTheory
Claire-Louise Bennett, interviewed in The Honest Ulsterman
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, interviewed in The White Review
John Berger, interviewed in The Guardian
Susan Bernofsky, interviewed in Bookforum
John Berryman, interviewed in The Paris Review
Jorge-Luis Borges, interviewed in The Paris Review
Anthony Bourdain, interviewed in The Smithsonian Magazine
Paul Bowles, interviewed in The Paris Review
Ray Bradbury, interviewed in The Paris Review
Joseph Brodsky, interviewed in The Paris Review
Carrie Brownstein, interviewed in Bookforum
William S. Burroughs, interviewed in The Paris Review
William S. Burroughs, interviewed in the Journal for the Protection of All Beings (City Lights, 1961)
James Burrows, interviewed for The Director’s Guild of America
Italo Calvino, interviewed in The Paris Review
Truman Capote, interviewed in The New York Times
Leonora Carrington, interviewed in The Believer
Raymond Carver, interviewed in The Paris Review
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, interviewed in The Paris Review
Blaise Cendrars, interviewed in The Paris Review
Jerome Charyn, interviewed in The Review of Contemporary Fiction
David Chase, interviewed for The Director’s Guild of America
David Chase, interviewed in The New York Times
Scott Cheshire, interviewed in Bomb
Billy Childish, interviewed in The White Review
Louis C.K., interviewed in The New York Times
Joshua Cohen, interviewed in Bomb
Robert Coover, interviewed in The Believer
Julio Cortazar, interviewed in The Paris Review
Wes Craven, interviewed in The New York Times Magazine
Robert Creeley, interviewed in Jacket 25
Robert Creeley, interviewed in The Paris Review
Ice Cube, interviewed in The Believer
Lawrence Durrell, interviewed in The Paris Review
Lydia Davis, interviewed in The Believer
Patrick DeWitt, interviewed in The White Review
Joan Didion, interviewed in The Paris Review
Geoff Dyer, interviewed in The Paris Review
David Eggers, interviewed in AV Club
Barbara Ehrenreich, interviewed in The New York Times
Àlvaro Enrigue, interviewed in Bomb
Jeffrey Eugenides, interviewed in The Paris Review
William Faulkner, interviewed in The Paris Review
James Fenton, interviewed in The Paris Review
Elena Ferrante, interviewed in The Paris Review
Jonathan Franzen, interviewed in The Paris Review
Jonathan Franzen, interviewed in The Guardian
William Gaddis, interviewed in The Paris Review
William Gibson, interviewed in The Paris Review
Kenneth Goldsmith, interviewed in The Paris Review
Juan Goytisolo, interviewed in The White Review
Garth Greenwell, interviewed in Bookforum
Michel Haneke, interviewed in The Paris Review
Elizabeth Hardwick, interviewed in The Paris Review
Seamus Heaney, interviewed in Brick
Ernest Hemingway, interviewed in The Paris Review
Michel Houellebecq, interviewed in The Paris Review
Michel Houellebecq, interviewed in The Guardian
Susan Howe, interviewed in The Paris Review
Gary Indiana, interviewed in Bookforum
Lucy Ives, interviewed in The Believer
Leslie Jamison, interviewed in The Paris Review
Juliet Jacques, interviewed in Bomb
Joyce Johnson, interviewed in Interview Magazine
Heidi Julavits, interviewed in Bookforum
Miranda July, interviewed in The Believer
Pauline Kael, interviewed in The Guardian
John Keene, interviewed in Bookforum
Jack Kerouac, interviewed in The Tampa Bay Times
Stephen King, interviewed in Rolling Stone
Alexander Kluge, interviewed in e-flux
Wayne Koestenbaum, interviewed in The Los Angeles Review of Books
Karl Ove Knausgaard, interviewed in The Paris Review
Karl Ove Knausgaard, interviewed in The New Yorker
Harmony Korine, interviewed in Slant Magazine
Harmony Korine, interviewed in Vice
László Krasznahorkai, interviewed in The White Review
Chris Kraus, interviewed in Rhizome
Chris Kraus, interviewed in The Rumpus
Tao Lin, interviewed in Granta
Gordon Lish, interviewed in Gigantic: A Magazine of Short Prose and Art
Gordon Lish, interviewed in The Paris Review
Ben Lerner, interviewed in Bookforum
Ben Lerner, interviewed in The Believer
Valeria Luiselli, interviewed in Bomb
Karan Mahajan, in conversation in Interview Magazine
Norman Mailer, interviewed in The Paris Review
Janet Malcolm, interviewed in The Paris Review
Sarah Manguso, interviewed in Bookforum
Herbert Marcuse, interviewed in Der Spiegel
David Markson, interviewed in Bookslut
François Mauriac, interviewed in The Paris Review
Tom McCarthy, interviewed in The White Review
Jay McInerney, interviewed in The Guardian
Marshall McLuhan, interviewed in Playboy
Jonas Mekas, interviewed in Interview Magazine
Henry Miller, interviewed in The Paris Review
Aidan Moffat, interviewed in M Magazine
Momus, interviewed in AV Club
Alberto Moravia, interviewed in The Paris Review
Otessa Moshfegh, interviewed in The White Review
Chantal Mouffe, interviewed in The New Statesman
Eileen Myles, interviewed in The Paris Review
Maggie Nelson, interviewed in Bomb
Anaïs Nin, in interview with Studs Terkel on WFMT-FM, Chicago.
Charles Olsen, interviewed in The Paris Review
Dorothy Parker, interviewed in The Paris Review
John Dos Passos, interviewed in The Paris Review
Octavio Paz, interviewed in The Paris Review
Walker Percy, interviewed in The Journal of Religion, 54.3.
Georges Perec, interviewed in The Review of Contemporary Fiction
Vanessa Place, interviewed in Bomb
Richard Plepler, interviewed in The Financial Times
Bern Porter, interviewed on Panmodern
Jay Rayner, interviewed in The Big Issue
Tom Raworth, interviewed in Cuniform
Lou Reed, interviewed in Let it Rock
Mat Riviere, interviewed in Line of Best Fit
Sam Riviere, interviewed in The Quietus
Jacques Rivette, interviewed in Senses of Cinema
Joshua Rivkin, interviewed in Bomb
Alain Robbe-Grillet, interviewed in Senses of Cinema
Eric Rohmer, interviewed in Senses of Cinema
François Sagan, interviewed in The Paris Review
James Salter, interviewed in The Paris Review
Luc Sante, interviewed in The Paris Review
Nathalie Saurate, interviewed in The Paris Review
Susan Scanlon, interviewed in Bomb
Mark von Schlegell, interviewed in Bomb
Michael Schur, interviewed in The Believer
Will Self, interviewed in The White Review
Victor Serge, interviewed on libcom.org
David Shields, interviewed in Dazed & Confused
Sam Shepard, interviewed in The Paris Review
Wallace Shawn, interviewed in The Paris Review
David Simon, interviewed in The Believer
Iain Sinclair, interviewed in The Guardian
Iain Sinclair, interviewed in The Quietus
P. Adams Sitney, interviewed in The Nassau Literary Review
Susan Sontag, interviewed in The Paris Review
Christopher Sorrentino, interviewed in Bomb
Gilbert Sorrentino, interviewed in The Review of Contemporary Fiction
Bruce Springsteen, interviewed in Variety
Wallace Stevens, interviewed in The New York Times
Hunter S. Thompson, interviewed in The Paris Review
Lynne Tillman, interviewed in The Believer
Frederic Tuten, interviewed in Bomb
Frederic Tuten, interviewed in The Brooklyn Rail
John Updike, interviewed in The Paris Review
Gore Vidal, interviewed in The New Statesman
Bruce Wagner, interviewed in Bomb
David Foster Wallace, interviewed in The Believer
David Foster Wallace, interviewed in The New York Review of Books
Joanna Walsh, interviewed in The Paris Review
Orson Welles, interviewed in Cahiers du Cinema
Cornel West, in conversation in Interview Magazine
William Carlos Williams, interviewed in The Paris Review
Tom Wolfe, interviewed in The Paris Review
Hanya Yanagihara, interviewed in Electric Literature
† The writer’s role is read by Jon Auman. Variations of this work have appeared in Minor Literature[s] & A Void. The recording above was broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM as a part of Ed Baxter’s ongoing Sunday night series, ‘New Works for Radio’ on January 6th, 2019. The header image is a photograph taken by Daniella Shrier.