The reason we need art so desperately I would say is that the world and we ourselves persist in being made. There is something exhausting and troublesome in the madeness of the world and in the madeness of ourselves. What is made has always the quality of limitation or unsatisfactoriness. Madeness captures us into a vicious cycle of desiring more madeness or better madeness, and the madeness we get only makes us want to make improvements or additions. Art making is an anti-making. It is an anti-making because it is a making of what is useless--this is what makes art art, that it is useless, that it doesn't do anything, that it is something inherently unmade and this is the source of its liveliness. Any piece of art stares us in the face with the fact of its being what it is uselessly, it is a record of a person's commitment to the confrontation with the made, a confrontation one is bound to come away from second best, and yet one does it, and reaches a peak of exaltation in the doing of it, and the art work facing the viewer or hearer is a phenomenal testament to that useless confrontation, which by virtue of its supreme failure, calls our life into question. If you really look at a piece of art or hear a piece of music or poetry or see a dance, you walk away wondering about your life. This is what these objects are supposed to do, this is why artists make such sacrifices in the doing of what they do--because this doing is the undoing at least temporarily of what has done them in in their lives and would do them in to the point of death or madness if it weren't undone in the process of making art.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Norman Fischer, from his essay "Do You Want to Make Something Out of It?":
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I am very happy to see "Bible Camp" on the long list of Wigleaf's Top (Very) Short Fictions of 2012. Thanks to Scott Garson and Ravi Mangla for including my story and for creating this list every year, which is such a wonderful resource for everyone interested in the form of the short short story. (Here's the link to the Top 50.) I see that Ravi is stepping down from his role as Series Editor for this list and that Lauren Ellen Scott will take over, along with Mel Bosworth, Erin Fitzgerald, and Sean Lovelace. It'll be exciting to see what the next year will bring.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
My story "Little Man" is in Fairy Tale Review (The Grey Issue), guest edited by Alissa Nutting. It will debut at AWP this month. I'm really excited to see the issue. Just look at the list of contributors. From the web site:
"2012’s Fairy Tale Review (The Grey Issue) is our eighth annual issue and will debut at the 2012 AWP Convention in Chicago, going up for sale at SPD at the same time. It is a themed issue, dedicated to lost boys and lost girls. In the Editor’s Note, Alissa Nutting, author of Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, writes: “ Getting lost is one of the most widely used narrative vehicles of all time. Once characters become lost, they can stumble upon anything—it’s a light speed bullet train between credibility and suspension of disbelief. Falling down a rabbit hole or stepping off the trail in a labyrinthine wood can transport a character to another world entirely in a manner of seconds.” Contributors to The Grey Issue are Seth Abramson, Matt Bell, Molly Bendall, Wyatt Bonikowski, Brittany Cavallaro, Maile Chapman, Mimi Chubb, Tara Goedjen, Sara Gong, Carol Guess, Aireanne Hjelle, Desiree Holman, Ashley Elizabeth Hudson, Shane Jones, Jessica Joslin, Krystal Languell, David Lasky, Stacey Levine, Oksana Marafioti, Adam McOmber, Christopher Merkner, Benjamin Nadler, Andi Olsen, Lance Olsen, Daniela Olszewska, David James Poissant, Gretchen Steele Pratt, Imad Rahman, Matthew Salesses, Kevin Sampsell, Davis Schneiderman, J. A. Tyler, Lee Upton, Laura Van Den Berg, Rob Walsh, Jillian Weise, Kellie Wells, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Deborah Woodard, John Dermot Woods."