At Electric Literature, Marie-Helene Bertino discusses the importance of disrupting realism in her fiction and opting to explore the fantastical to get closer to the truth. “Perhaps we want to break the laws of physics because it’s fun,” Bertino says, “because we want to reach a particular emotional resonance unable to be accessed through conventional methods. Because we do not think using the supernatural elements is out of the ordinary. Because the supernatural is our ordinary and to write realism would be, for us, stranger. Perhaps we venture outside realism because to express our understanding of life, because removing the middleman of simile and making the figurative real feels more honest.”
Andrew Ervin interviewed Matt Bell for Tin House. Bell’s forthcoming novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and Woods will come out this summer. (Excerpt) It’s a book that was at least partially enhanced by Bell’s sense of “competition … of a useful kind” with his friend Robert Kloss. “I was so blown away [by Alligators of Abraham],” Bell admits, “that I can remember having to resist putting down his first novel to go make mine better.”
Millions writer Sonya Chung has a trenchant essay up at Huffington Post on the topic of writing and motherhood: “Art Before Life: Questioning the Parenthood Question.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older? / Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long,” crooned Brian Wilson in The Beach Boys’ 1966 hit “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” The song went on to become the title of Wilson’s autobiography. Now, over half a century later, the crew is finally older, and fans hoping for a reunion won’t have to “wait so long” because the band’s officially announced an upcoming 50th anniversary tour.
“In my adolescence people spoke of ‘café intellectuals,’ not with the respect due to a sect that transmits ideas within the cramped space of a table but with the contempt reserved for those who turn their backs on reality and take refuge in vain speculation.” Juan Villoro on the writing life in Mexico City’s cafés as part of the “Writing Life Around the World” series for Electric Literature.