A conversation between Studs Terkel and Hunter S Thompson circa 1967 was discovered! And someone made it into an animated short. (via Paris Review)
“There are few things that depress me more than hearing the word “great” followed by a nationality and then the word “novel.” There is no such thing as the great anything novel…The “Great” thing is so destructive. Why are we striving for one book to be the defining document? The only way to pull off the Great American Novel is if there’s only one America or American. ”
Booker longlist nominee Marlon James interviewed on Midnight Breakfast
“Chelsea Girls is an example of a hybrid work that’s taken on cult status. It’s considered an autobiographical novel, straddling the space between nonfiction and fiction. One of the times I meet up with Myles, she is just back from a panel at AWP, the big writers’ conference, with Maggie Nelson, Eula Bliss, and Leslie Jamison, among others, at which she turned to them and said, “Isn’t it a fugitive form you guys are creating?” Well said.”
Eileen Myles’ Fugitive Form (via the Millions)
“Of course, there are plenty of places where people don’t want to talk. Some parts of Mexico, for example, are very hard to report from now. I did a Letter from Michoacán (“Silver or Lead”) a few years ago, during a period when the cartel had really captured the state. People were just terrified about talking, and as I started to understand the situation, I saw that they were right to be afraid. For me even to show up at their offices or their houses was dangerous for them. It was terrible. Some of them actually suffered consequences for having spoken to me. Nobody was hurt or killed, thank God, but people had to go into hiding after my piece came out. It was probably the worst episode of my journalistic career.
Then there are the situations where people are happy to be drawn out, where starting a conversation is like opening a book that turns out to be full of great stuff. I guess I did get into that well before I got into journalism. On that long surf trip through the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, I often found myself hanging out with fishermen who would take us to these small islands, where we were looking for waves. Listening to them talk about their lives, it was like a new form of poetry to me, something I’d been looking for without knowing it.”
William Finnegan interviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books