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08 January 2010

Blake Butler Interviews TSky Press Author Andrew Zornoza at Bookslut

Bookslut starts 2010 right, with Blake Butler interviewing Andrew Zornoza, regarding Andrew's debut with TSky Press, Where I Stay, as well as a host of other things, from Chris Farley to Superman to Susan Sontag. Some excerpts:

You can set out to write something original, “make it new, make it new,” as Frederic Tuten now says channeling Ezra Pound... that mantra spanned those generations influencing each other in New York and Paris -- Queneau, Resnais, Robbe-Grillet, Ashbery, Harry Matthews. The problem is, you can set out to make something new every moment of your life and still end up with a handful of sand. . . .

I am not a big believer in intelligence. It's not one of my goals, matching brains with my reader. I'm more interested in feelings, though that's not quite the right word for it. I'm interested in new feelings that haven’t been mythologized yet, I'm trying to get as high and bent as possible. I can over-intellectualize after the fact, but in the moment, when I'm sitting in front of that computer, all that is far away, everything is far away. . . .

Have I taken a lot of drugs? Yes. But there's no reason why anybody can't splinter their observational powers to be able to see multiple states of the same evolving moment. As long as you can get to some nexus, some original state . . . you can leave the constraints of being a static observer. I have students now, somehow, and they always want to find their voice. It's very important to them. And they want to write honestly. That seems completely bonkers to me. You mean, you only have one voice? Aren't we all more complicated than that? And you still believe in some sort of truth? The truth to what? We're a hundred years past modernism here and sixty-five past the Holocaust. What's honest? That people are awful? That evil exists? That men abuse their wives and mothers die of cancer? Of course. If we could get past our vicarious thrill of seeing the same dramas enacted over and over maybe we'd progress a little bit. . . .

The photography was difficult.
Where I Stay is a complete work of fiction. Except, I took the photos. So, it's all completely true. I was there, some of these people are dead. The geography is there, but it's temporarily covered with Walmarts and Starbucks.