PARAPHILIA MAGAZINE Interviews Davis Schneiderman

An excerpt from Edward S. Robinson’s interview:

ER: Although very different from one another, your novels strike me as being very much conceptually orientated. Do you consider them ‘concept novels’ and if so, is there an overarching ‘meta-concept’ that connects them?

DS: Yes, and no. I consider each project individually and try my damnedest not to write different iterations of the same book. Drain (TriQuarterly/Northwestern 2010) is assaultive sci-fi, Ballardian chaos, taking place in Lake Michigan, emptied of water, while Blank, is, well, largely blank. This is not the difference between Dean Koontz novels.

Yet I find that sort of predictability soothing as a reader, even in high literature. This is something I have noticed in writers such as Paul Bowles. Bowles’ work always feels like Bowles to me, something that I find comforting, yet I don’t, at this point, want my readers to be caught in a tape loop.

To some extent, I think I am oversimplifying Bowles; his is the literature of upper middle-class recuperation and satisfaction. One sees a type of otherness in his works, perhaps even lives it, and yet the reader finds himself reconstituted at the closure of the text. The reader almost becomes a “better” person for it.

Despite his existentialist leanings, Bowles’ writing is also the literature of late-art-is-everything-Modernism (although reset for the non-Western, decolonizing African period). My books, however, are not Modernist. I believe less and less in “art” as I age, while recognizing with increasing awe its various seductive abilities. I am amazed at the workings of a “good” novel, while simultaneously wishing for those works to become an exploded diagram: Pieces hanging in the air, spilling over the edges of the book that for me is no longer about itself. I am appalled at the sameness of the product (although as a 14-year old I listened again and again to the song “The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging” from Gabriel-era Genesis). These traps, too, have ensnared me.

Read the rest of the interview HERE.

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