I can sympathize with Ken Kesey who once said that he stopped writing because he was tired of being a seismograph—an instrument that measures rumblings from a great distance. He said he wanted to be a lightning rod.
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.
So many of the writers I love seem to be fed by many diverse streams. They are like mash-up artists, drawing on the whole of their own reading histories and life experience, too, I imagine, to devise a new mode of perception. They shatter our generic expectations. They make these mutant tales, hybrid stories, by recombining the genetic materials of many different genres—the gothic, the lyric, the Western, science fiction, myth, and fable. Sometimes I also like to think of these writers I admire as mad-scientist opticians, correcting for certain blind spots by giving us an altered view of reality, foregrounding certain shadowy truths, refocusing our attention. By fusing the shards of so many differently tinted lenses—by refusing to privilege any single genre’s monocular capture of ‘reality’—they disrupt our ordinary ways of seeing. So you get this unstable, glorious kaleidoscopic vision—an oculus that is the book or the story.
Karen Russell (via mttbll)