Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blake Butler "Ever" -- Interview: Question 3

RK: It's great to hear that you and Derek working together transformed a list/numbering format to the bracket structure which is, I agree, a tremendous improvement. This is essential in emphasizing and, to a large extent even, creating the "Russian doll" effect that I think I remember Derek comparing the book's structure to. Rooms. Cells. Doors. Maybe I'm wrong on this but I don't there are too many small press editors (or any?) who're prepared to invest so much time and energy on a manuscript. To look at something and think "this is good, but rough. i think it can be great though, and i'm going to try to make that happen." So, yeah, I think you and the manuscript are lucky. Anything else you'd like to add, generally or specifically, on this?

BB: The thing about the creation of the text is that while I was writing it I knew there were things I would figure out as I went and things that would not, mainly because of the state of the narrator's voice, some sort of amalgam of disassociative state(s). When Derek and I talked about the numbering system, the main idea was that there needed to be something to guide the reader through the narrator's mind in the same way that the narrator seems to be leading herself in her own mind. I thought a lot about David Markson's 'Wittgenstein's Mistress' when I was working on the text, I think, and how he was so casually able to layer all these idea and threads in the narrator's mind into one labyrinthian text that also has a definitive pull. I had kind of constructed it knowing that the numbers weren't the best thing and that in the end if the book was made it would maybe have to be something typographic, and I am very fortunate not only that Derek was open-minded and process-oriented enough to see what he saw in the text itself to then work to build around it.

I don't know how many other publishers there are out there who have that kind of flexibility of mind in the creation of art object, but I do know that what Derek does is so singular and so focused that if he hadn't seen whatever he did see this book would almost without question be something that sat in with the burgeoning dungeon that is my hard drive(s) for posterity or maybe in segmented pieces somewhere if I was lucky. Not to mention that Derek's understanding of texture and aura and book as object in the creation of the art that goes with the book, the covers, and all else, is so vital to it to me now that I can't imagine it without. Calamari Press is truly a thing in and of itself, and one I have long admired before I ever thought of sending my own work. So, it's definitively an honor. I feel like I'm a band on Dischord in the early 90's.



(to see the rest of the interview look in archives--dec 2008-- or, more easily, click on one of the labels, like Blake Butler, at the bottom of this post)

2 comments:

Derek said...

you mean dischord of early 80s? Or were you still sucking teat in the early 80s? Quite a compliment regardless! Thanks for all the nice words.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i mean early 90's
you are minor threat
peter is rites of spring
norman lock is lungfish
john olson is embrace

i'm in the mid era of calamari

i feel like hoover or circus lupus or nou or something

miranda mellis is definitely 'in on the killtaker'

either way, it is a good feel