MINI-INTERVIEW: Catherine Lacey.
(Catherine Lacey writes, has written, and will continue to write whatever makes sense at the time. www.catherinelacey.com)
1.) What makes you a revolutionary?
CATHERINE LACEY: I don't think I am a revolutionary at all. I guess you would have to ask Matthew Simmons why he chose that title for the chapbook to which I contributed for Happy Cobra. I have never thought to ask him why he chose that title. Maybe he chose it because Ellen, Chelsea and I are all women publishing stuff on the internet and that's not very common and Young Anomalies is less sexy sounding than Young Revolutionaries. The story that I gave him is very un-revolutionary, very Lorrie Moore-ish. I think I knew then that it was very Lorrie Moore-ish and I still think that's ok. Since then I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) by a nonfiction project and I haven't completed hardly any fiction.
2.) Is there such a thing as hipster lit?
CATHERINE: I guess that all depends on a person's definition of hipster and literature and their stance on genre. The more books I read, themore I realize that non of those distinctions are all that important to me anymore. In particular, the debate over what 'hipster' means becomes exponentially more boring every minute, so I think the only answer I can really give is that while there certainly are writers who are called 'hipster writers' it all seems pretty inconsequential to me and more an issue of publicity and marketing. Calling something 'hipster lit' seems to be a really lazy, short-hand way to not confront what's actually in the text.
3.) What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?
CATHERINE: Basically, it's to put something in the space that is between other people and me. Complete strangers, close friends, people who dislike me, people I dislike, other southerners, people who come from a totally different world than me and every other person in the world. For me, real communication is equivalent to what other people call God. It's that important and expanding and huge to me. More specifically, my goal is to finish and publish what I am working on right now, a book about the contemporary Protestant South and its enormous failure to cultivate the kind of peace that is supposedly the core of any religious practice. It's a very personal book that I ended up writing by accident, or rather out of the failure to not write it. Does that make sense? It think that's another goal I have-- to fail to be able to write anything other than that which feels most urgent.