JA: I’m a student of writing, so I continuously found myself enjoying the challenges the book presents through both form and unique sentence constructions. But do you worry about accessibility to a larger audience?
BM: I am a student too! It’s good, always, I think, to remain a student in the best sense of the word: open to learning, eager to be surprised. When you stop being a student the discoveries end. And if you think about the reading life, it is often those books which overturn our assumptions that most excite. Accessibility is a concept created anew with each work of literature, on each page—and if the prose tends to be dense, as mine sometimes is, the author must expend effort creating alternative ways for readers to enter and comfortably remain in the space of the book. Mood (via an accumulation of the right details), for instance, can be a powerful aid, as well as the sheer raw rhythmic momentum of sentences. Think of Dostoyevsky and his complicated riffs on universal themes—passages hold readers via galloping rhythm and a weight of ideas lifted by gusts of feeling far above the realm of the dry and conceptual. The sensation of wordiness is blown away.
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