:: Interviews

Journey to the End of the World with Joanna Pocock published 03/08/2020

So many young, big-city children are being brainwashed. They spend so much time in front of a screen where they are sold a life. They don’t live life; they consume a simulacrum of a life. It makes me incredibly sad. At the same time, my daughter and her friends go on the climate marches and they care deeply about the planet. But I keep coming back to this idea of schizophrenia as the normal state of our world. On the one hand, kids are protesting the eco-cide that is going on, yet they are buying fast fashion and iPhones. It isn’t their fault. They are children. It is our fault. We have allowed this situation to blossom through the idea of exponential growth. We will never solve the climate crisis until we start giving back to the Earth more than we take. Yet, how to get that message across? I don’t have an answer to that.

Claudia Bruno interviews Joanna Pocock about Surrender.

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Reading Faulkner’s The Hamlet in 2020 USA: Part III published 16/07/2020

I just finished the book today. It’s always a strange experience to finish a novel for me; I wonder what it’s like for you. It’s bizarre in how I seem to focus my attention much more acutely in the final pages, though I hardly read for story—except that Faulkner’s plots do have something of the “boilerplate” about them, an astonishing key. I didn’t want it to end, but there are a plethora of other Faulkner fictions I can steep myself in.

Genese Grill and Greg Gerke read The Hamlet by William Faulkner, Part III.

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Reading Faulkner’s The Hamlet in 2020 USA: Part II published 15/07/2020

There are searing mementos of the Southern wages of sin in this novel, none perhaps more disturbing than the aside, mentioned in a description of Eula’s lover, who paid a black man so he could whip him. Man’s inhumanity to man (and to woman). His cruelty and depraved sadistic need to be stronger than someone else. Many would like us to cleanse the world of such depictions, preserve our children from these markers of our past, erase the stain and replace it with something more monolithically correct. But Literature—it shouldn’t have to be said, but it does need to be said—teaches us about all of the ways that humans are, rather than just an idealized, cleaned-up version of how they are supposed to be. Great writing, like Faulkner’s, gives us the complexities and makes us more fully human. Great writing, like Faulkner’s, is not essentially dogmatic either, not essentially Moral, but is a lever to open up ethical channels, ways of feeling and thinking, through irreducible aesthetic experience. The more uncensored or un-self-censored the better.

Genese Grill and Greg Gerke read The Hamlet by William Faulkner, Part II.

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Reading Faulkner’s The Hamlet in 2020 USA: Part I published 14/07/2020

And what is the first significant sign about Flem? His shirts. Newly cut and stitched at the beginning of each week, then soiled by weekend in exactly the same places. And then he adds a necktie: “a tiny viciously depthless cryptically balanced splash like an enigmatic punctuation symbol against the expanse of white shirt…postulated to those who had been present on that day that quality of outrageous overstatement of physical displacement which the sound of his father’s stiff foot made on the gallery of the store….”

Genese Grill and Greg Gerke read The Hamlet by William Faulkner, Part I.

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The Narrator Escapes to Japan: Interview with Dale Brett published 17/06/2020

I have always been naturally drawn to the dichotomy of the ethereal and the destitute; the soft and the hard; the smooth and the harsh/mega-abrasive. I basically wanted my literary voice to be the equivalent of shoegaze music—I wanted to take very intimate, sensual moments of ordinary life and make them tactile, bring them to life sensorially. I wanted to create works that I couldn’t really find elsewhere, in particular I wanted to cultivate a voice that could evoke a certain emotion or feeling in a reader not often felt in literature—like those experienced while listening to repetitive music or resembling a certain sensation like floating on water or that moment before you enter a hypnagogic state. These are the kind of things I think about imitating when I write.

Mike Kleine interviews Dale Brett.

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Minding the Dreamer: An interview with S. D. Chrostowska published 10/06/2020

Calling leisure time a “mine” represents it as something exhaustible. This seems false, insofar as there is no limit to the monetary value we can extract from every last moment of down time. But we still use this time primarily to consume culture. After all, we have the world’s cultural treasures, and refuse, at our fingertips. There is not much more rhyme or reason to this cultural consumption than the novelty factor and media recommendations increasingly based on our consumer habits. When it isn’t justified as self-improvement or cultural competence, it’s simply a way of killing time. While such leisure activity doesn’t exhaust culture or our capacity to consume it, it does exhaust our capacity to derive meaning from what we consume.

Joshua Rothes interviews S.D. Chrostowska.

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Jolts: an interview with Fernando Sdrigotti published 29/04/2020

It was supposed to be an essay, but I ended up writing something in between fiction and an essay. And that’s when this “confession” (we could call it that) took place. The internal debate about rejecting and embracing what and who I am became explicit in this piece. And it felt great to get this out of me, and embrace it, yes. I don’t believe in writing as a form of therapy but accidentally I ended up accepting a lot of things about myself writing these stories, and then turning them into a book.

Sylvia Warren interviews Fernando Sdrigotti.

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Living in the End Times published 09/04/2020

‘The Sabbath is not simply a time for rest, for relaxation,’ Wittgenstein writes. ‘We ought to contemplate our labours from without and not just from within.’ Why ‘contemplation from without’? Because it’s when you remove yourself from the claims of the work day, from work time, that you can ask questions concerning the value of it all. Whence the stream of questions that the characters ask in a kind of chorus when they’re out of school, whether they’re in the woods, smoking dope in Joel Park or drinking on Art’s broken patio.

Markku Nivalainen interviews Lars Iyer about Nietzsche and the Burbs.

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Sensuous Knowledge: A Conversation with Minna Salami published 01/04/2020

Lived experience is part of what I define as Sensuous Knowledge. The felt and embodied have always been a feminine way of approaching knowledge. Historically it’s been a way for us to make critical interventions to oppression. This has a lot to do with women being excluded from privilege, such as not being allowed to study or write books at different points in history. And for people of African heritage there’s been even more exclusion from those things. So the personal has always been a critical space. I appreciate the type of literature that strives to be strictly objective and academic. But I wanted Sensuous Knowledge to be a holistic reflection of all of life, the mind, body and soul.

Andy West interviews Minna Salami.

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Alive and Sane: An Interview with Alex Niven published 05/03/2020

There was brief period of time when a genuine and tight-knit avant-garde was able to develop around critical theory and pop-cultural analysis, with Mark Fisher acting as the main focal point and driving force. Like all avant-gardes, it faded and scattered over time, but that doesn’t mean that the internet is now devoid of good writing and commentary. As I say in the book, writing these days is more overtly political, which is generally a good thing.

Oscar Mardell interviews Alex Niven about New Model Island.

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