I worry I say too much in interviews ‎

Publish Date : Thursday 12 July 2018 - 21:15
IBNA- Iranian-American writer Ottessa Moshfegh Admires the Genius of Whoopi ‎Goldberg, the Nihilism of Nirvana and worries that she says too much in her interviews.‎
Ottessa Moshfegh
According to IBNA correspondent, in an interview with Literary Hob, the 37 years old writer whose new novel ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ has been released a few days ago speaks on her preoccupation with literature as follows:
Who do you most wish would read your book?
Whoopi Goldberg. If you read ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’, you will learn that the protagonist venerates ‎Goldberg as the apotheosis of authenticity and absurdity in a world of pretension and farce. And so do I. I’ve been a ‎fan of Goldberg since I saw her in ‘The Color Purple’ on VHS when I was nine. Jumping Jack Flash and Burglar ‎convinced me even more that she was a genius. Her particular talent to poke through every scene of fictional film as ‎a real live human being, therefore undoing the illusion of cinema, was a powerful influence on me as an artist back ‎before I even knew I was a writer. I’ve always been obsessed with the layers of performative reality obscuring reality ‎in its true form. Goldberg is my hero because of this. I would love for her to read my book simply because it is a ‎message of appreciation. I love her.‎
Which non-literary piece of culture—film, TV show, painting, song—could you not imagine your life without?
Saturday Night Live. The first time I stayed up to watch this show was in 1992, and it happened to be the episode in ‎which Nirvana performed. I was eleven, sitting in front of the TV in the basement with my older sister. Here, at last ‎was the sound that had been spinning on repeat in my mind since my existential break at age five. My precise ‎response to my sister after Nirvana played “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was “That just proved that nothing matters.” I ‎think what I meant was actually “That just proved that nothing exists.” So maybe this was the birth of my own ‎nihilism. Furthermore, I discovered a show that was truly artful and experimental. The cast in the 1990s was ‎incredible. The show was alive, experimental, and I think the intro with the scenes of New York implanted deep into ‎my brain. I moved there six years later.‎
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best writing advice I ever received was from my mother. She told me she liked books whose stories happened ‎over the course of several days. My assumption was that she enjoyed the co-experience of reading alongside the ‎novel’s characters over the few days it took to finish the book. It wasn’t particular advice about any writing project ‎of mine, just a passing comment about her taste. Because my mother is brilliant, and has the greatest taste of anyone I ‎know, I gleaned from this one statement about books a multitude of ideas and perspectives. To inhabit a character in ‎real time became a goal in my fiction. I don’t know if all the credit should go to my mom, but why not?‎
What do you always want to talk about in interviews but never get to?
I wish I had an answer, but the truth is that I always come away from interviews thinking, “I said too much.” I have ‎the incongruous ability to be uptight and boundary-less simultaneously. It takes a lot of self-censorships to get ‎through an interview without revealing something I won’t later regret, or without expressing a harsh judgment that I ‎had—because of my mood—but that I dispensed with as soon as I blurted it out. I have actually made a list of topics ‎that I will no longer discuss. Oddly, “social media” just made it on there. I try to avoid it because I start to speak ‎dictatorially about the subject, condemning everyone in the entire world for being an egomaniacal dork, and then I ‎feel like an A-hole.‎
What was the first book you fell in love with?
It was a children’s book called Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal and illustrated by Harriet Pincus. My mother used to ‎read this to me every night before I went to sleep. It’s a story about a little girl who takes her baby brother out on ‎adventures around the city while their parents are sleeping. I loved it because it was about the pleasures of radical ‎independence and the discovery of the world, and because I so deeply loved my little brother. To this day, my ‎mother still calls me “Mitzi.”‎
Story Code: 263386