Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blake Butler "Ever" -- Interview: Question 5

RK: I've asked you about slush and foam but it's structure that also (and mainly?) holds this book together-- and you've talked about structure a bit already. Whether it's on the organizational level (controlling by "doors," a "drain," a series of "rooms," etc) or on the sentence level even (I've talked about how sometimes the words feel like a kind of paint, better perhaps to say language a kind of paint, but for the most part the sentences themselves are pretty clean, pretty normal) this books needs and depends on structure. Something for the black fat to hang on, dripping. Again, yr thoughts?

BB: There is a definite arc to the book I think, even in its layering and skewing of rooms, and of the narrator's probably complete inability to parse it, as in a way a lot of the house she lives in is herself. Because the book is delivered as a monologue almost, to a person that the narrator does not seem to be able to place to one place, though there are focuses at times on certain people in her past and periphery, I think mostly the way it functions is as a tour of the narrator's body, which again, is also enmeshed with her home, with those who have lived in the house before her, with her, and who will come after, who appear outside the house in droves. There is a big sense of intrusion and extrusion on her part, trying to claim what is hers and what is not hers and yet there's also some kind of fascination on her part with encroachment of the other, in the form of both the ruined state of the outside world and those crushed around her, which to me gets more and more flesh-embedded as it continues to renegotiate her brain.

The first half of the book, then, is in a way her parsing what she has, and in the parsing of herself, finding ways to open it up, which leads into the second half, where her body, the house, becomes more and more riddled with tunnel, spore, canal. This is reflected I think in the lines as cells and the pages as sheets, and in the way there is an inhale to the first half, and an exhale to the second. A rupture, an enmeshing, a spreading out and spreading in.

(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)

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