Reup: an excellent 2002 interview with Ben Marcus at Powell’s.
Dave: Language is central to the novel, the lack of it or the forms it can take. And there’s such a blur between food and language, so much confusion between those two.
Marcus: It’s one of those deep concepts that drives me as a writer. It’s constantly coming out of me. I’m always stuffing cloth in a character’s mouth. I’m always trying to mythologize the mouth, to make language animated so you can see it coming out of people’s heads, destroying objects. It’s provocative to me to look at the body and what the body does as a force of nature. Take the attributes and turn the volume up on them just a tiny bit, or maybe spray them with some revealing jelly so you see a little more than what might be there. In the lie you’re telling there might be some little parable, some revelation of what is real.
I feel so drawn to those notions and metaphors that I feel I can’t write about them any more. It takes three sentences for me before I start writing about cloth. It’s like a fingerprint. So I’ve set a rule for myself that the next book can have no wind, no references to weather, no cloth.