“I have a degree in creative writing — but trying to get a job with that, well, you might as well be a felon.”
-Richard Buckner, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune
Hey, it’s dark humor time! I’m posting this partly because it’s funny, and partly because Richard Buckner is fucking awesome and you should go buy, or download or whatever it is you kids do these days, Devotion + Doubt, an album which I have taken the liberty of subtitling “How Michael Schaub Survived College Station, Texas, 1997-1998.” I mean really.
“It does not bespeak great wisdom to call the film The Bad Lieutenant, and I only agreed to make the film after William (Billy) Finkelstein, the screenwriter, who had seen a film of the same name from the early nineties, had given me a solemn oath that this was not a remake at all. But the film industry has its own rationale, which in this case was the speculation of some sort of franchise. I have no problem with this. Nevertheless, the pedantic branch of academia, the so called ‘film-studies,’ in its attempt to do damage to cinema, will be ecstatic to find a small reference to that earlier film here and there, though it will fail to do the same damage that academia — in the name of literary theory — has done to poetry, which it has pushed to the brink of extinction. Cinema, so far, is more robust. I call upon the theoreticians of cinema to go after this one. Go for it, losers.”
-more via The Awl
“The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets its literature decay, and lets good writing meet with contempt, than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.”
—ABC of Reading
[PS- hat tip to my man, Michael Signorelli, who emailed me the quote just now. Do you have any idea how rad it is to have an editor who sends letters that begin: “Have you been reading Pound today? I started up on ABC of Reading again…” ? Well, allow me to give you an idea: it is very, very rad.]
“Both writers were inimitable even as they were widely imitated. Carver, younger, less productive, a practitioner of a spare gritty realism often called minimalism, was the junior executive. Donald Barthelme—sparkling fabulist and idiosyncratic reinventor of the genre, practitioner of swift verbal collages, also sometimes dubbed minimalism—was commander in chief. Barthelme’s particular brilliance was so original, so sui generis, despite its tutelage at the feet of pages by Joyce, Beckett, and Stein, that even his own brothers Frederick and Steven, also fiction writers of intelligence and style, wrote more like Carver.”
—Lorrie Moore, “How He Wrote His Songs“
God, the only thing to do is to have a good laugh at the joke. Ha ha ha. You hear me laughing at the joke? I am laughing at the joke. Ha ha ha. I am having a good laugh at it. Ha ha ha. “This is me.” “This is you.” Ha ha ha.