Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Personal stories

I'm pretty impatient with contemporary novels that don't have some kind of political or philosophical bent—or, at the very least, a strong sense of humor about the limitations of the personal. It's easier to write novels, of course, that lack an abstract, large scope, partly because that's where the literary mainstream is—in a kind of interpersonal, material realism that's microscopic instead of macroscopic—and partly because we're trained in personal stories from the time we're born. It's a natural, unconscious medium for us. The never-ending narrative of our daily lives is everywhere and we're steeped in it. I want to write past that narrative because it's a trap. It fosters an entrenched conviction that life is all about the individual self and its problems.

Read the full interview with Lydia Millet at

Page 23

Lydia Millet is the author of six novels including Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, the PEN USA award winning My Happy Life, and her forthcoming How the Dead Dream. I haven't yet read any of her books, but I like this interview, and put her on my reading list.

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