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Some authors have a very hard time understanding that in order to be faithful to the spirit of the book, it's almost always impossible to remain faithful to the text. You have to make changes.
People often ask me how I make things funny. I don't make things funny.
My books are elegiac in the sense that they're odes to a nation that even I sometimes think may not exist anymore except in my memory and my imagination.
Movies have to handle time very efficiently. They're about stringing scenes together in the present. Novels aren't necessarily about that.
It's no secret that in my books I'm trying to make the comic and the serious rub up against each other just as closely and uncomfortably as I can.
If you work at comedy too laboriously, you can kill what's funny in the joke.
If there's an enduring theme in my work, it's probably the effects of class on American life.
If my career continues along its current arc, people will probably look at me and see a writer who is obsessed with the relationship between rich and poor and with how the rich somehow or other always manage to betray the poor, even when they don't mean to.
I'm delighted by how Nobody's Fool turned out. It was a rare movie.
I was pretty dead set against ever writing an academic novel. It's always been my view that there are already more than enough academic novels and that most of them aren't any good. Most of them are self-conscious and bitter, the work of people who want to settle grudges.
I want that which is hilarious and that which is heartbreaking to occupy the same territory in the book because I think they very often occupy the same territory in life, much as we try to separate them.
I think the darker aspect of my fiction-or anybody's fiction-is by its very nature somehow easier to talk about.
I think that if people are instructed about anything, it should be about the nature of cruelty. And about why people behave so cruelly to each other. And what kind of satisfactions they derive from it. And why there is always a cost, and a price to be paid.
Happy Married Life
It Is What It Is
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