MARCH 29, 2012
How do you get up in the morning?
More worried than I went to bed.
Do you succumb to nostalgia?
What do you mean “succumb”?
Do you write long and cut, or short and backfill?
How do you feel about your Wikipedia entry?
I still do not have one, because no one else will write one for me, and I am irrationally respectful of Wikipedia’s code of ethics that prevents me from writing my own. I wish I had one.
Disciplined or hot dog?
My first thought on reading this was that I’d really like a hot dog now, please.
So I guess: “Undisciplined around hot dogs”.
Have you ever been defeated by a genre?
Which classic author would you like to see kicked out of the pantheon?
Who is your imagined audience? Does it at all coincide with the real one?
I guess at this point in the questionnaire I should point out that I am not really a “writer” in the usual sense. I collaborated on a book, The Chairs Are Where The People Go, with my friend Sheila Heti, who is a real writer. The book was her idea- it is a book of everything I know. I talked, and she typed, and we edited it together, though she did a lot more of the editing than I did.
I do a lot of live performance work of various kinds. Among the many reasons I am not a writer is that I have a hard time dealing with an imagined audience. As a performer, I am used to dealing with an audience who are in the room, right there, as I am talking to them.
The way I “wrote” the words in this book was to talk to Sheia, who was in the room, right there, as I was talking to her. Even though intellectually I knew that everything I said to Sheila would potentially end up in a book, there were still a lot of things that I felt very comfortable about when talking to Sheila, but that I felt surprisingly uncomfortable to see in the drafts of a book that would be read by an “imagined” audience. Some of those things were taken out, but most of them were left in. Among the many possibly unusual divisions of labor we had, I suppose Sheila did most of the hard work of thinking about the audience, and I was largely freed of that, until the very end of the process, when I had to think about them all at once.
What’s your problem?
Is that a question or a taunt? I think the generally accepted right answer is “You’re my problem, asshole”, followed by punching, but that seems inappropriate to this forum and to my own character.
Title of the book you’re probably never going to write, but would kind of like to get around to?
No desire to actually write a book. Pretend-writing a book like I did with Sheila was enough.
Does age matter?
For wine, yes. And cheeses. Also computers, furniture, cars, music, jokes, movies, magazines in waiting rooms, magazines elsewhere, fashion, toothbrushes. Also for people. For people — very much.
Do you prefer to write standing, or must you lie prone in a field of dandelions with a steno pad and a good pen? Or what?
Prefer not to write. So far achieving goal a-okay, in variety of positions/locations.
Is there a literary community?
I think so, yes.
What’s the question or questions we should have asked, had we known?
Would you really like a hotdog?
What is the answer?
Yes, thank you.