The default world of literary fiction is a very professional class, with occasional sprinkles of They Closed the Mill and Now We’re All on OxyContin. I wanted to be more matter of fact about post-industrial small town life.
There is no people among whom abstract ideas have played such a great role, whose history is rife with such formidable philosophical tendencies, and where individuals are so oblivious to facts
One can call for interdisciplinarity all one wants, but if one is not actually engaging people in practices that allow them to embody the capacity to be interdisciplinary, then it’s not going to work.
Any art is a sacrifice. Such an investment. So much time spent alone. So little praise. It’s not legitimized as a profession. Money is scarce. It’s not something that even if you’re immensely successful most people will be aware of.
By exaggerating the stereotype, you poke fun at it; then when you take the extra trouble to really flesh out the person as an individual, the identity stuff can’t help but seem minimal.
Well, you know, nothing succeeds like success. Why do the Young Lords and the Red Guard and the Young Patriots and everybody else model themselves after the Party? Because they were super influential. Because they were making things happen.
I’ve never felt more that I was making a tangible difference in the world on a day-to-day basis than when I worked there. And for that reason, it was the biggest threat to my writing career that I’ve ever had.