mercredi 19 décembre 2007

Gary Lutz

Gary Lutz’s past is a bit vague, which is how he likes it. He grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and has lived much of his life outside Pittsburgh, where he builds tight, unusual stories in an unfurnished apartment. He studied with the highly respected editor and educator Gordon Lish “for twenty-six days between June 1992 and June 1997” and considers himself “fortunate just to have been present.” Under Lish, he developed a unique voice, using compression and aphorism to cohere narrative fragments into untraditionally beautiful shapes. His characters spend their time enduring the weight of everyday life, dwelling on the minutiae of their own neuroses. In a story titled “Slops,” a college professor with colitis maps out all the campus bathrooms in a small notebook. In another, a man passes out pamphlets and gives forty-five-minute presentations (with charts) in search of a prospective wife. Lutz labors at each meticulous sentence, word by word, to create a language of striking insight, peripheral emotions, and reinvented vocabulary.
Lutz has published two short-story collections—Stories in the Worst Way and I Looked Alive—both of which should be read by anyone even mildly interested in the capacity of language. He also edits fiction for the online experimental journal 5_Trope.

This conversation took place over the summer of 2005, with the help of many computers.

—Ross Simonini (extrait du Believer)

"My relationship to language hs never been a normal one, and neither has my approach to writing, because for me, the act of writing is a private, unnatural act and an inorganic process, not an organic one. And I fixate on the individual sentence, each of which, to me, is not an attempt to report on something in the world but instead is the result of a botched effort to create a durable object that embodies the very unintelligibility of the world. My fiction has its source in my limitations as a person—especially as a reader and as a learner—and in my sense that everything is wrong or unknowable or both. I remember reading with relief E.M. Cioran’s statement—and I may well have misread it—that one’s responsibility as a writer is to mobilize one’s defects. Because I’ve never really learned how to speak the language to my satisfaction, I’ve tried to stumble onto ways to make the language speak me. And because I have no aptitude for storytelling; because, as a consumer of fiction, I have a blind spot when it comes to plots and, without wanting to, tend to concentrate only on whatever is most peripheral in what I am reading, such as the punctuation, the drama in the commas, the surprises in where the commas make an appearance and where they do not; and because I am an incompetent observer or witness of progression, movement, continuity, and change in my life and in the lives of people I have known or whose passages I have been a party to; and because while others look at human behavior and see causes and effects or beginnings and endings, I have always seen just murk and opacity—for all these reasons I have not been able to write stories in the customary sense, and I often rationalize my incompetence by telling myself that movies and television are the best media for narration and that writing should attempt to give a consumer what a consumer cannot get from other media, namely instigated language, maddened language, language dishabituated from its ordinary doings, usual patterns and pathways, and workaday behaviors--language startled by itself. When I look back on my thick-headed life, there seem to be just a few formative experiences that perhaps explain why I write the way I do."

3 commentaires:


    In the madness jail
    Prisoners are creating walls
    Made with dashes, dots & commas
    Proud to say themselves
    Instructed people
    Ignoring shuffle of freedom
    Which teach them every day
    That they're building
    Their own path of suffering
    In mental slavery spellbounds

  2. "educated" instead of "instructed", sry

  3. Gary Lutz also has a chapbook of stories just published by Future Tense Books called "Partial List of People to Bleach." It's also really great.