Behind the Scenes
AN INTERVIEW WITH AUDREY ALLENDALE FROM MUUMUU HOUSE
this person from muumuu house emailed me today and asked to be interviewed. her name is audrey allendale. here are the answers she gave to my questions:
1. how do you help with MUUMUU HOUSE
At Muumuu House my primary function, at this time, is to advance the careers of Ellen Kennedy and Brandon Scott Gorrell, hopefully entrenching them deeply, within 2-3 years, into the minds of young people (10-25) who read books — and to do so in a manner amenable to all parties involved, employing a level of professionalism, I’ve been instructed, high enough to gain certain kinds of mainstream approval, sarcastic enough to not feel like I’m working, and detached enough to sincerely maintain a certain equilibrium of professionalism (which includes courteousness/considerateness and its myriad, complex implications) and sarcasm that can be sustained in the long-term.
2. how many seconds is a good hug?
3. what are some future projects of MUUMUU HOUSE
Projects I have had the privilege to learn about include a possible Bear Parade print edition edited and designed by Gene Morgan, possibly spanning 800 pages, to be published possibly in late 2010; a possible photography book based on the “Where’s Waldo” series featuring a select person’s Facebook “tagged” photos, showing them drunk at various parties in college, either in the foreground or background, with the title being “Where’s [the name of the person]“; and possibly any number of full-length poetry books or novels or other items of literature or art by any number of authors that have been published on the Muumuu House website or not-yet-published but of interest to people associated with Muumuu House.
4. when someone tries to make you laugh but it doesn’t work, is it best to just stare back, or should you say “you have failed to make me laugh, try again.”
Stare back grinning.
5. what is something someone says that makes you think “i have to leave this place now.”
“This sounds like some of the stuff I’ve gotten from talented tenth-graders in my creative writing classes. They just don’t have Ellen’s connections. Yesterday’s poem was a lot better. This is, indeed, sophomoric.”
“How much is Ellen paying you for advertising her book? You know there is a new Edson book you could be quoting from instead.”
“In any case, it’s not always to a writer’s beneft to be associated with one particular group, especially when that group is generational. (What sounds charming from someone at 22 sounds insipid coming from a 50-year-old.)”
“For a time in the 1980s, Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz were the hottest writers in NYC & LA and probably the country. Each of them is still writing, but as they got older, they had to reinvent themselves, and I think it’s inarguable that none of them are as central to American literary culture as people once thought they were.”
“I’ve written like that and it’s lazy, unfulfilling, and in the end you aren’t really saying anything. It’s confusing. But I feel like the “scene” thinks that they’re doing something new by being lazy– and maybe with the exception of tao lin, they aren’t. ”
“It feels weird reading tao lin say things like he feels BSG’s book is going to be huge and well-considered ten years into the future when they seem to present this front that suggests that’s not what they’re in it for at all… I don’t know. It’s entitlement. It’s just immaturity I guess. That takes us back to the beginning.”
6. it seems like a lot of people are angry about MUUMUU HOUSE and TAO LIN and other people, or upset or whatever, it seems like these ideas generate a lot of comments. what do you have to say to these people?
7. if you could jump on one HTMLGIANT writer’s head repeatedly, whose would it be and why?
8. what are your goals in life?
Create things that me and my friends like while being around friends and things that I like.
9. when new york is completely flattened, and all that remain are wisps of smoke, will you kneel and inhale the wisps, or will you comb them into your hair?
10. describe each of the MUUMUU HOUSE writers in three words.
Ellen: nice, funny, emotional.
Brandon: science-fiction, funny.