Thursday, August 07, 2003

More Fury Than Sound (Thinking)

Over at Bookslut they have an interview up with Author Steve Almond who has this to say about literary criticism in America:

ÖIt's like they're saying we can't just write about literature and the emotions expressed in literature, we need some sort of hook or angle that will appeal to our readers. Fuck off on that. Find beautiful books to advocate for. Why do you want to read a bad review, so you don't buy a bad book? Save yourself a little money? It makes sense if it's Stephen King or Tom Clancy, but why not just find the books that deserve to be praised and direct people to them? Maybe that's too Pollyanna-ish.

I donít think itís Pollyanna-ish at all. Thatís what Iím all about, toiling away here in the Invisible Library, ranting and raving about the books I love. Go back and read the little blurbs and reviews Iíve written so far. Not one is of a book I hated. I donít write about hate. I write about the books that inspire me. That make we want to kick out the stained glass windows and light the moon on fire. That make me want to write, in other words.

The literary culture of America, and very likely the world is in trouble. Itís become deluded, self referential and isolated form life. Most books written these days are about writing, not about living. And that is the problem, authors who donít go out and mix it up and knock themselves down trying to live the hell out of life. We writers have the reputation of being a bunch of anemic, closet cases, fearful of sunlight and strong wine. And to a degree itís well earned. To write you must isolate yourself and let your insides come out.

But then you have to stuff ëem back in, tie up your boots and go to a Goth club and drown yourself in vinyl skirts and slender thighs clad in fishnet stockings. Or something, anything. That way you have something to write about other than what your therapist said last Tuesday and how that made you feel. Fuck your therapist. Get drunk and spit fire onto paper and then, find a publisher.


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