« Previous Month
Next Month »
A prospective reader might see the association with Borges, and read the Calvino blurb on the back of the collection of her poetry, published by NYRB Poets, and think that this might be a similar writer to the two of them. A writer prone to abstractions, gently fabulist in the world postulated, that feels larger than the one we live in, through the invention of impossibilities to the physics that we know. Such thought experiments seem almost holy in their light, that, while lost in thought of theoretical abstractions, they've come across something that could illuminate the world. The magic in Ocampo's stories is less unique to her. Instead, she chooses as subject matter phenomena talked about widely, such as psychic abilities, divination, angels, and dreams. She does not need to invent books of infinite pages, for the world of what we know already contains things as strange as mirrors.
"There's been a lot written about problematic male characters, like Walter White and that kind of thing... there's something about the tormented male psyche being on display at this time, both in fictional and nonfictional forms. You've got these TV shows where torments of the male psyche are foregrounded. But it seems to me there are also real-life counterparts. Like Anthony Weiner, or even Tiger Woods. They're acting their torment out on the public stage. They're turning their lives into a form of public theater. I'm not sure whether the audience drives it, or the individuals drive it, but it is as if they're performing for an audience. With Anthony Weiner, he was sending those "sexts" not just to that college girl, but to everyone. We were the designated audience for these conflicts of his."
One of the main reasons that folks write and read fan fiction to begin with is that they feel that an original (or canonized) story is lacking something that could make it even better, or more accessible to a different fan base. Fan fiction writers often aim to tell a story that addresses that lack, with the hope that others will read and enjoy it because they've noticed the same missing or unexplored elements. So, what if we considered this reboot (or all reboots to major comic book characters) to be fan fiction as well? In this particular case, what would happen in a fanfic where Carol Danvers, the previous, blonde, willowy Ms. Marvel, was instead an introverted 16-year-old Pakistani-American teenager? A brown geek-girl. A female, Muslim superhero (the first in comics history). How would that story play out?
I organize my books by color right now, because itís how my brain is working. Itís how itís remembering titles and keeping calm to write, and hopefully, sometimes, finishing writing. In other rooms I ask my brain to connect books by countries, philosophies, sexualities, whatever, and while that will certainly win me more money on quiz shows, at home itís just as good to sit in my thin old robe and ask myself what all the purples say. Itís like in high school, when my friend worked at the mall folding clothes so kept his own in a heap at home (except for the dresses, which he hung). Iíve worked in so many libraries and bookstores, and except for the Loebs -- green for Greek men, red for Roman ones -- none ever organized books by color. So when I do, it makes home mine.
"Janis Joplin wanted to be a woman more in charge of her life. When she talked about "our" parents, the parents of those of us who grew up at that time, she said, they lied to us about everything, man. They lied to us about drugs, they lied to us about black people, they lied to us about sex, they told us all of this stuff, you know, the sex and the drugs and all. She felt that a lot of the values of the culture at large of the mid-fifties that were laid on her about how to behave were wrong. She said, we've been lied to. And so her reaction was, you've got to experience everything yourself and find out for yourself what's true, because what they told us wasn't true."