Check out Andrew Martin’s excellent interview with Gary Lutz at The Paris Review Daily, their blog. Once again, Lutz shines as he self-deprecatingly answers questions, claiming to “suffer from E.D.—Experience Deficit”; implants the ordinal for zero; and offers glimpses into his perspicacious writing process:
When I’m at work on a story, I never compose paragraphically. I write stand-alone sentences. I might fixate on three or four sentences a day. I’ll enlarge them to at least twenty-six-point type on the screen. I’ll futz around in their vitals, recontour their casings, and work a kind of reverse cosmetology on them to bring out any defining defects or birthmarks or swoonworthy uglinesses and whatnot. Only much later will one such sentence overcome its aloofness or diffidence and begin to make overtures to another sentence, which might be pages and pages away in the draft. The sentences eventually band together into paragraphs. The paragraphs, to me, are nervous little cliques or sororities of like-natured outcasts who put up with each other despite the friction. There’s a lot of rubbing the wrong way and very little mating of a peaceable kind. Getting something that might pass itself off as a story out of these uneasy alliances is in fact a pretty maddening and brutal ordeal. Among my deficiencies is a freaky neurological setup that keeps me from seeing wholes. So all I can see are parts, pieces, flickery fragments. I will never be up to writing a novel. It’s all I can do to even read one.
There is also a strange moment:
I almost always begin with a mood, usually a new dip of
ness and maybe, at most, just a handful of words, none of which are likely to alight together on the same page. No characters or themes or settings or conflicts or any of the intro-to-lit tackle and fittings. And I’m pretty much limited to the zeroth-person point of view.
An uncharacteristic failure to find le mot juste? Of course not. It’s probably simply a typographical error, but I hope it’s a playful use of blank space.
4 thoughts on “New Gary Lutz Interview!”
If Lutz achieves little more – and I’m not saying he achieves little – at least he gives the lie to annoying old adages: “Write what you know;” or, “Everyone has a story, so just tell your own.” Lutz has got almost no nothing at all.
I find those admonishments annoying, too, Brian. And, you know, I’d argue that most of us know little about anything, starting with what we think we know.
Just received this piece of spam, and I found it was mildly amusing.
Thanks for that, Can you check my sentece structure and tell me the tone because I don’t get it!!!
Gary Lutz was an uncomfortable with his life, everything he did came out wrong. One day he was on the Internet and saw an advertisement that would change his way of life forever. He read that he could change bodies for one week. He thought to himself that he had nothing to lose, so he went to the address the advertisement gave to him. Karmen, who does the experiment, told Gary that everything was ready for the process of changing bodies. The body who he would exchange belongs to Dirk Davis, an athletic teenager who is very popular but not very bright. While in the process, a bee from his neighbor Andretti gets in the way and everything goes wrong. Dirk gets on the body of Gary, but the protagonist gets on the body of the bee. In the little body of the bee he tries to change back and understands how valuable his life was before.
Keep up the good work
I put the comment through a search engine and found this, where some people actually parse the paragraph: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070115141031AAh3jlO
thanks for the pointer, wonderful interview about “knocking two words together.”