Kesey’s Garage Sale

A collection of essays, musings and a play by the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

INTERVIEWER

After Sometimes a Great Notion, you seem to have grown dissatisfied with the novel as a medium. Do you prefer public performance?

KESEY

Yes. The first rule—whether you are a writer or a dancer or a fiddle player or a painter—is “don’t bore people.” My dad used to say that good writing ain’t necessarily good reading. A lot of people think good writing is like the compulsories in figure skating; it goes round in circles and doesn’t go anywhere. If I’m going to skate, I’m going to race.

At one point, I was trying to write an illuminated novel with pictures and different kinds of print, experimenting with visual form as well as prose form. It’s not right yet. But I haven’t felt like I have taken a vacation from my work. I feel that I am continuing to probe into that big hollow, but the traditional form of the novel won’t do. My metaphor has been that I’ve been dating Emily Brontë and the old dame just ain’t putting out like she used to. The novel is a noble, classic form but it doesn’t have the juice it used to. If Shakespeare were alive today he’d be writing soap opera, daytime TV, or experimenting with video. That’s where the audience is. The audience is there even if there’s a lot of mediocrity in the writing. I have just completed a play, Twister. Writing drama for a live audience is exciting, almost addictive.

[via interview with the author in the Paris Review]

Was available instore for the soft, muddy price of $5

 

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