Monday, March 27, 2006

Brooklyn Rail interview

The Brooklyn Rail is great. This issue has an interview with Kate Braverman that made me want to buy her book, which I shall, and report back... But the interview I can recommend nonetheless. She's wonderfully candid, and a poet turned fiction writer which is always intriguing. Here she discusses the lack of audience, something I suppose poets aren't supposed to discuss...
Braverman: My readers are primarily MFA students. My short fictions are in most university anthologies. My audience has been limited because of my failure to understand the marketplace, which used to follow rather then dictate. I am responsible for the lack of audience I have. The neo-Romanticism of the sixties and isolation of Los Angeles combined with a pathological inability to engage the Establishment on its terms was a major problem. I was told in 1988, when Palm Latitudes was published, that I needed to find someone like Didion or Janet Malcolm or Sontag, say, to explain why my work mattered, to frame it, make it intelligible to the many. If anyone had done that, bothered to do it, say, in the New York Times Book Review, the reader would have been introduced to me as they are to complex, typically male and foreign writers. I continued to think I could create an origami so exquisite, it would filter through. I was wrong.

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