I’ve heard you say something before like, “Not perfect sense, but perfect nonsense.”
Yeah. You know, like I’d write titles for books I wanted to write, then I would see that the titles were more interesting than the book, and I would say maybe the book would actually kill the title. Maybe the title is better than the full book..
The fact that you don’t limit or qualify it allows it to be that much bigger.
For sure. And at the same time I wanted it to tell a story too. It’s the unspoken story that’s the real story. It’s the blankness around the word.
What is plot, to you?
The idea of a plot is unattractive, because I never liked people who plotted out their lives. I don’t like people who plot too much. I try to stay away from people who plot. But a story can be more liquid. It can be without a point. It can be more impressionistic. So the book is a story, but I don’t think the book is a plot.
So there’s a gap between what plot and story are?
A story is like we’re walking down the street and I see a guy and he leaves his shoes in front of a tanning salon. So I go and I pick up his shoes, and inside his shoes there’s a note, and the note says, “If you call this number, I’ll give you three gold bars and a blowjob.” So you call that number, and you go to that person’s house, and actually… uh, it’s your, uh, guidance counselor, and it was just a ploy to get you to take your MMP personality test to figure out which school you should go to. So you go in there, and you take the test, he grades it right in front of you, says you should become a bricklayer. You don’t listen to him, you go back home, your mom cooks you dinner, and you go to sleep. And that’s a great story, right? But I can’t tell you what the plot is.
I always thought plot was a prop word Americans were taught to eat the shit that most of our entertainment is. There’s a plot in that story you just told, but it’s not a redemptive plot, or any of those things that people are trained to look for.
Maybe it’s more anti-American.
I think not plotting would be considered a terrorist act to some people.
I agree with you.
Always madness interspersed with genius; such is life though, no? I liked this too:
Were there different freedoms in writing a book of ideas as opposed to making a film of ideas?
It was more immediate, obviously. It was something I could just think up and it existed on its own, and I didn’t have to deal with other people. More singular and aggressive and immediate. It was just fun, there wasn’t so much at stake. A lot of it was a reflection of the way I was thinking about things at that time. It felt more like I was a strange conduit to all these ideas, and I didn’t really know how to buffer there, or where they were coming from, or why I was attracted to whatever it was I was attracted to. It was kind of trying to make sense of that, or to create my own logic. To entertain myself, really.