Cris Mazza interview

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[excerpt:]

I like the idea that the author isn’t an expert on what his or her book means or where it belongs in a literary movement. Not because this lets me off the hook and I don’t have to have any intelligent ideas, but because when I hear a “real” literary scholar or critic pronounce what my books “mean” or where I fit, it is, frankly, for me, breathtaking. Not because what they’re saying is completely novel or exotic; it’s because I’m hearing ideas expressed in a way I never could have or would have articulated them. Certain ideas I never could have or would have explained in that particular way because they were, in the first place while creating my fictions, more of an intuition for me. Thus I recognize the interpretation, but I never could have made that same explanation myself. So under the (welcome) regime of deconstruction, critics — stewards of the now public ownership of books’ meanings — interpret me back to myself. Long before deconstruction, in a 1936 essay, “Technique as Discovery,” Mark Shorer said, “If our books are to be exercises in self-analysis, then technique must — and alone can — take the place of the absent analyst.” My text (my “technique”) may be my absent therapist, but I still need a medium (a critic) to translate.

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