PEN America Blog
I’m sorry for driving past and driving past and driving past all winter and into spring, and for watching, with interest—even, I’m ashamed to say, a kind of gross curiosity—as you became less and less of what you were, as you were ground down by innumerable tires into bone, fur, and dirt, as you were picked apart by magpies and crows.
I'm still surprised to answer "I'm a writer" when people ask me what I do. I wrote as a child—pages of what we would probably call fan-fiction today, extensions or imitations of things I'd read whose worlds I still wanted to inhabit when I finished them.
“Cut your losses,” said the Viking. / This is supposed to be fun. / But then your neighbor & her friend invite themselves in. / Ask if we’re having a party (are terrible dancers). / Improvisers in mirage. / They whistle. / Write that down.
As an interpreter I’m a bit of a stage mother, pushing the writer or director for whom I’m interpreting to jump into the conversation (Forza! Dai! Sfondi! I whisper). The authors I translate are like house-guests. I don’t let them sleep with me: they get the sofa bed.
After all, our prime minister has been complaining about this so-called art for a long time. Art is beautiful and esthetic, it’s pleasant to the eye and ear, it moves the human spirit. But in the name of so-called art, things are created that are ugly, coarse, dangerous and provocative, making people brood, promoting terrorism.