Pop Culture
Dec 05, 2015, 11:49AM

Oh, Look at That

A 2010 A.V. Club interview with author/screenwriter Jonathan Ames vs. a 2015 The Rumpus interview with novelist Mark Danielewski.

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Jonathan Ames: I wouldn’t like someone’s house to burn down, but if it had to burn down, I would like to be there on the spot, so I could race in and carry people out.

Mark Danielewski: I can’t disagree with you. There are cinematic instincts.

Ames: Yeah, initially that was part of the early inspiration.

Danielewski: Violence is a compressed moment that is shocking and abrupt and out of the ordinary in its comprehension, even though it speaks to something inevitable.

Ames: Does that mean the past is still alive?


Danielewski: There is this correlation between the vast complicated obstacles that some of these children are facing, but they are not all that apparent in the way they were speaking to me.

Ames: They’re meant to entertain, amuse, hopefully, like a well-prepared but quick snack, maybe.

Danielewski: Sure. In that sense, I am terrified but also liberated.

Ames: What can I do with my life?

Danielewski: I could be at a barbecue and start talking to someone.


Ames: I mean, great animals in the ocean feed all the time.

Danielewski: In the devouring, you eat up all the nutrients.

Ames: [Laughs] There must be some witty one-line answer.

Danielewski: I absolutely know the ending and I am confident that the ending will be entirely different by the time that I get there.

Ames: Oh, look at that. They have a ping-pong table over here.


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