MINI-INTERVIEW: Jaime Fountaine.
(Philly writer Jaime Fountaine runs the "Toiling in Obscurity" reading series and is at http://www.jaimefountaine.com/ )
1.) Is today's literary world too bourgie oriented?
JAIME FOUNTAINE: The “Literary World" has always been pretty bourgeois. When you put together any group of people who are relatively educated, intellectual, and convinced of their own creativity, one can assume that they are either of a certain mindset, or aspire to it in one way or another. This is not to say that anyone that considers himself a writer is therefore bourgeois, but that to assume that much of the world revolves around your idea of creativity as self-worth is reductive, and, well, bourgeois.
2.) What are the challenges of being a writer in Philadelphia?
JAIME: Philadelphia, like anywhere else, is made up of cliques that cross over each other like Venn Diagrams; they intersect, but just barely. This is especially true of writers. Because it’s always easier to work with yourself than others, and because in something so insular otherwise, small differences can divide people widely, most groups keep to themselves instead of overlapping. Short of battling it out, the only way to interact with various others is to be diligent and reverent, which is difficult enough when you're interested in what they’re doing, and much worse if only for the sake of networking.
3.) What are your goals as a writer?
JAIME: I would like to write stories the provoke the wrenching feeling in my stomach the first time I read Joyce’s “Eveline,” Flannery O’Connor, Light in August (and Faulkner in general), and The Easter Parade. To quote Richard Yates, “I don’t want money, I just want readers.”