Tag Archives: The Rumpus

Kevin Barry in The Rumpus

I love these Rumpus author interviews. They keep me going as a writer. Here’s an excerpt from one with Kevin Barry, whose work I know nothing about, but hopefully will very soon:

Rumpus: Can fiction writers avoid revealing themselves in their work?

Barry: Not at all. In fiction, I think, your soul is pinned onto the page in every sentence you write. I think you can hide in an essay. You can hide in a piece of nonfiction. You can put on facades, and so forth. I don’t think you can do that in fiction. I think everything about you, despite all your best efforts, will come out on the page.

Rumpus: You said last night it’s easier to lie in nonfiction.

Barry: I’ve always thought that. Especially with that debate that was current for a while—after the David Shields book Reality Hunger—“Has fiction had its day? Or, “Are we tiring of what seems like a false presentation of supposed realities?” But I think fiction is a truer mode, because it’s so hard to lie there. You have less control in fiction. You can get away with less there. And that’s what makes it magical. That’s what makes it really interesting.

Read the whole thing here.

Cool Post on “No” for Creative Types

I stole this from The Rumpus. It was up on the site Medium, which also has a couple of Bukowski references in recent days. Here’s an excerpt:

The professor contacted 275 creative people. A third of them said “no.” Their reason was lack of time. A third said nothing. We can assume their reason for not even saying “no” was also lack of time and possibly lack of a secretary.

Wonderful Interview with Kurt Vonnegut’s Daughter Nanette at The Rumpus

I was just thinking of Kurt Vonnegut over the weekend. I might’ve even had a dream about him, where it was declared by me or someone else that he was the greatest American writer. And now, lo and behold, there’s an interview in The Rumpus with Nanette, his daughter, and we’re coming up on what would’ve been his 90th birthday. This is really a lovely piece and everyone should read it. As an aside, she briefly mentions her time in Northampton with him, and I was working in the hotel there one day when someone said he’d been in to eat at its café. That always made me feel a personal connection with the man, even though I hadn’t actually seen him.

Work Less, Make Better Stuff

The Rumpus highlighted this article in The New Statesman about the value of idleness. Four hours, if used intensely, is the best way to work. According to the article, the rest of the day can be used for naps, drinking wine, watching boring TV, etc. For writers, this seems ideal. And in my experience, it’s true.