« Previous Month
Next Month »
I, for one, love happy endings. Love triumphing. Dead birds coming back to life and soaring away, being adored by the man who is clutching my naked body, being on the right bus, getting there in time for dessert. But the girls (and sometimes boys) in my writing are usually fixed in a moment of being charmless, uncherished, wanting to die. If I read it properly, these are stories of my life exactly. If I read it properly again, they are completely unfamiliar. In real life, I’m on the salty beach, I’m on the bus, I get a yes answer, I make it to Cremona on the first try. If it doesn’t work out that way, I guess I rise up and do it again.
I watch all the televised fat-shaming porn as penance and motivation -- The Biggest Loser; Ruby and Heavy, shows on cable channels; recently, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Throughout each episode, the trainers or the producers will, at some point, get shallowly psychological with the contestants, trying to figure out why the contestants weigh 280 pounds or 357 pounds or nearly 600 pounds, trying to uncover that fat genealogy. There are dead husbands and dead babies and divorced parents and absent fathers and terrible abuse and all the painful things that happen to a person over the course of a lifetime, the kinds of things that can be appeased, or at least numbed, in part, by a quart of ice cream or the melted cheese of a pizza. Sometimes the contestants say, "I don't know how I got this way," but they do. There's always a reason.
"I didn't even know who Hayden Christensen was, but I asked Eric [Baus], “who would be the opposite of Frankenstein, like if I fell in love with someone and it happened to be Frankenstein, who would be opposite of that?” He said Hayden Christensen and I looked at a photo of him and thought yeah, that's right. To clarify, the grotesque is important here. I wanted Frankenstein's “opposite” to contain something I would find grotesque and Christensen certainly achieves that."
He may be a lowly stand-up comedian but Stewart Lee believes he has something to teach artists of the twenty-first century, where the temptation is to expand, expand, expand. We in the digitized world live in a time where being opposed to mass appeal is seen as a rather square and uncool position. Money's place as the primary value in the arts may have wavered with the increase of piracy and digitization, but it has only been replaced by what was formerly the runner-up: populism.
"No matter where I'm living, my best writing is going to happen in the closest thing I can find to a padded cell, in which sense it makes no difference at all what culture surrounds the building. On the other hand, one of the main reasons for going expat in the first place is to use one's non-writing hours to roll around a bit in other cultures and languages, and inevitably they'll bleed back up into the words. I don't think there's any way for either of those phenomena to wear thin for me, and I wouldn't want them to."