Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Steven Beattie interviews Charles Foran

That Steven Beattie guy just might like us. Two posts in one day. This one an absolutely fabulous interview with Charles Foran around this April's Join the Revolution, Comrade. For which I thank him, again, heartily.

You can find the whole interview at That Shakespeherian Rag, here:


A brief excerpt:

Novelists who do make an attempt to write in a more challenging or idiosyncratic way that might lack mass popular appeal are often castigated for being “elitist,” an epithet that William A. Henry III has suggested “has come to rival if not outstrip ‘racist’ as the foremost catchall pejorative of our times.” How do we counteract the prevailing cultural tendency towards comfortable, staid fictional products and authors?

At this stage, there is likely no escaping charges of elitism. Simply to aspire to write not a “literary’” book or a “real” novel or any such loaded term but to write simply to the tradition, to Cervantes and Sterne, Eliot and Conrad, Virginia Wolf and Keri Hume, is to open yourself up to epithets. As I said before, it seems we don’t really want these books, these writers, any longer. We only accept, begrudgingly, the “difficult” ones that the Nobel committee or, sometimes, the Booker jury, bully onto our media bookshelf. (What a tiny, badly constructed shelf that is, too: can’t hold more than a few titles at any one time, books rated by gaudy covers and sensationalized titles, then still filed upside-down or spines-to-the-wall; all excess releases allowed to topple off the edge and tumble to the ground, there to be not even trampled on; just ignored, until covered in dust, dirt, and returned to the earth.) We no longer have the time or attention span or, possibly, the faith in the form. We’ve moved on.

What to do? Join the Revolution, Comrade, I suppose — or else …

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