Send the work out there naked

Ο Πέρσιβαλ Έβερετ σε μια παλιότερη συνέντευξή του με αφορμή το Wounded (2005 – ελληνική μετάφραση, από τον Λύο Καλοβυρνά: Πληγωμένοι, εκδόσεις Πόλις, 2008, και εδώ ό,τι δικό του κυκλοφορεί στα ελληνικά):

You’ve sent up academe and publishing, using satire as a way to examine, among other things, race relations in American culture. How do you manage to keep satire engaging, funny, and relevant without veering into the didactic realm?

I think the way to make satire easy is to keep as close to the truth as possible. We choose things because they bug us, and they bug us because of the way they really are, and when you really start to examine theses things, they’re just funny.

One of the most ironic things about some of my satire is that I’m fairly earnest about it. There’s a lot of irony in the fact that I take the things I’m talking about seriously. I actually like literary theory, for example, so to write my novel Glyph, I had to believe I understood enough of it to write about it, and to make fun of it. I found that I had to respect it. It doesn’t mean I agree with it. I just think that it’s funny.

So, you train mules. You write an average of a book a year. I’ve also read that you are a fly fisherman, a musician, a painter.

I used to be a musician in college. I played jazz guitar.

Did you study painting?

No, not formally. I look at a lot of paintings. I paint in oil.

Και από άλλη συνέντευξη, αυτή τη φορά με αφορμή το ακυκλοφόρητο στα ελληνικά βιβλίο του Έβερετ και του Τζέιμς Κινκέιντ, A History of the African-American People (Proposed) by Strom Thurmond, as told to Percival Everett & James Kincaid (2004), μιλώντας για τη δυσκολία κατηγοριοποίησης της δουλειάς του:

How do you categorize yourself as a writer? Do you work within the constraints of a particular fiction category? Your works are so all over the map.

No, whatever the particular work is, that’s what it is. I don’t put myself in a camp. I want to write what works for the story at hand. I serve the story, basically. I don’t think that as the author I’m terribly important, and I don’t want to be. I want to disappear. If anybody’s thinking about me when they’re reading my work I’ve failed as a writer. The work is supposed to stand by itself. I’m teaching you to fly. When you have to go solo, hey, I’m not there.

Η συνέχεια είναι επίσης ενδιαφέρουσα:

I have a couple of questions about your style.

Style schmyle.

Your style, or lack thereof. (laughter) Do you have a predominant style?

Style is a tool. The work will dictate the style.

So you write in a manner that suits the work.

The only reason I would want a particular style is so that people could identify every work of mine as mine. There’s nothing at stake for me in having people recognize the work because of stylistic consistency.

You tend to blend styles a lot.

Well, I play with styles. I think they’re amusing. I think that anybody who thinks they have a style—it’s like watching punk rockers get ready to go out. It must take you two hours to get that look. How many safety pins do you need? To me there’s a wonderful irony in that. To work so hard to dress your work. Send the work out there naked.

Περισσότερα για τα βιβλία του Πέρσιβαλ Έβερετ, με πιο πρόσφατο το Assumption που μόλις κυκλοφόρησε, εδώ. Δείγμα γραφής εδώ.

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