Tuesday, May 15, 2012

casting spells

If prose can cast a spell we will listen to it no matter what it’s saying (and maybe decide afterward whether we like what it’s saying—how else could, say, Lolita work?) If a narrative uses language in a magical and enlivening way, we will listen to the story.
-Lorrie Moore, in an interview in The Believer

Speaking of casting spells, that's exactly what Lorrie Moore has done to me with Birds of America. I don't like all the characters -- and yet Moore writes with such imagination that I don't want them to leave. I need to read to the end of each story to get my fix. The interviewer puts it this way: "you push words and sentences in a way that forces a new experience with language." Yes, is all I can say, really.

I'll write more when I'm done reading, but wanted to leave you with these precious crumbs to whet your appetite.

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