Sunday, April 8, 2012

Alice Munro... "disjointed and demanding and peculiar."

Alice Munro in conversation with The Atlantic:

"In your introduction to one of your earlier collections, Selected Stories, you say your stories have, over the years, 'grown longer, and in a way more disjointed and demanding and peculiar.' Why do you think they've evolved this way?"

'You know, I'm not sure why this has happened, because when I'm writing a story, I don't really analyze it. But once I've got the story finished and I begin doing things with it, I think that in many ways what I've written breaks all the rules of the short story. This occurs to me, but not with any particular regret; I figure I can only write what interests me. So I don't try to do anything to make it a more regular story. In fact, if a story wants to go in a particular direction, I let that happen. I just put it out there and see what it does."

"You said your stories tend to break the rules. How so?"

"Well, I have an idea. Some of the stories I admire seem to zero in on one particular time and place. There isn't a rule about this. But there's a tidy sense about many stories I read. In my own work, I tend to cover a lot of time and to jump back and forward in time, and sometimes the way I do this is not very straightforward. I feel that this is something that people may find they have to adjust to, but it's a way of saying whatever it is that I want to say, and it sort of has to be done this way. Time is something that interests me a whole lot—past and present, and how the past appears as people change."
The Atlantic

Buy all of Alice Munro's books here...

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