27 June 2011

Paris Review 197

The latest issue of The Paris Review includes not only fiction by Jonathan Lethem, Roberto Bolaño, David Gates, and Amie Barrodale along with poetry by, among others, Frederick Seidel and Cathy Park Hong, but it also includes interviews with Samuel R. Delany and William Gibson.

An excerpt to whet your appetite:

DELANY
Gide says somewhere that art and crime both require leisure time to flourish. I spend a lot of time thinking, if not daydreaming. People think of me as a genre writer, and a genre writer is supposed to be prolific. Since that's how people perceive me, they have to say I'm prolific. But I don't find that either complimentary or accurate.

INTERVIEWER
Do you think of yourself as a genre writer?

DELANY
I think of myself as someone who thinks largely through writing. Thus I write more than most people, and I write in many different forms. I think of myself as the kind of person who writes, rather than as one kind of writer or another. That's about the cloest I come to categorizing myself as one or another kind of artist.

And another:

INTERVIEWER
Do you think of your last three books as being science fiction?

GIBSON
No, I think of them as attempts to disprove the distinction or attempts to dissolve the boundary. They are set in a world that meets virtually every criteria of being science fiction, but it happens to be our world, and it's barely tweaked by the author to make the technology just fractionally imaginary or fantastic. It has, to my mind, the effect of science fiction.

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