Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kmart, Tao Lin...

...And Tree-Swinging Sasquatches

I was happy to be able interview Tao Lin for The Rumpus, an interview that went up today. Tao Lin is very astute, thoughtful and incredibly specific with respect to topics such as how certain writers affected his work, why the issue of whether or not people think his work is "weighty" doesn't concern him anymore, and about the term 'Kmart realism," and everything it implies about the writers who are grouped under it and the act of grouping writers, in general. He also gives a convincing argument for why his work should not be considered nihilistic and talks a little about nostalgie de la boue.

For a solid primer on "Kmart realism," as per Tao, which charts the time-line of the rise and fall of the literary style alongside that of the rise and fall of the corporation, check out his blog post from 2005: kmart, kmart realism; the rise, struggle, decline of.

A quote I like from the interview:

An unmediated experience of reality seems desirable to me sometimes. None of these reasons, in my view, have anything to do with “numbness,” “ennui,” “apathy,” “condemning my generation,” “saying [anything] about my generation,” “saying [anything] about society,” “saying [anything] about the state of the world,” or “saying [anything] about technology’s effect on people.”

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