CORIN: I remember being at one of my first writers’ conferences and the famous-teacher-man saying that a great story must have a main character who the reader “identifies” with and I really thought he was kidding and I kept asking him to clarify because I thought there was no way that in, what was it, 1995, he could possibly mean this as literally and universally as he seemed to–he wouldn’t even call it a personal taste thing–he insisted even when I sputtered something like “but…modernism?” I don’t know–who and what counts as standing? I was talking to the very fine publisher of a very fine press I love (okay fc2) about the future of the press and I suddenly saw, in my own private version of a thousand points of light, this image of people making their art in their little homes in their little lives all over the country (I don’t know how to imagine more than the country) and it was the first time I ever had a sense that I was part of something like a community, invisible as it is to me. I was thinking about how most writers work within this star-system aesthetic where the big prize is your name up in lights and when I had this sweet constellation image it was about being part of a kind of secret society–secret even to its members–and doing collective cultural work that mattered not because I am or am not a great writer but because I am one of so many people writing and variously working and thinking in the face of idiocy. So standing invisibly perhaps? Twinkling in the night sky?
1 July 2005
The Daily Corin