Over at Hazlitt, Tobias Carroll writes about the intersection of punk and magic in various fictional works, from The Insides by Jeremy P. Bushnell to the Hellblazer comics and Buffy the Vampire Slayer—a surprisingly varied history of what might, at first, seem like a pairing that just shouldn’t work, but does, deliciously....more
Posts Tagged: Tobias Carroll
For Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll chats with Matthew Neill Null about the role of landscapes in his story collection Allegheny Front, and how Null crafted the “ideal juxtaposition of humanity and the natural world”:
Many of the stories pivot on fraught interactions between humans and animals.
They remind us that the larger world is inherently complex, that the lessons imparted by stories of wicked creatures and good-hearted men and women rarely apply in our world.
I have an impression that I write novels and then I publish the structure of those novels. There are missing Legos in that castle. And I like that. You must open a space for the reader.
For Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Tobias Carroll interviews Álvaro Enrigue on the ways he constructed his second novel, Sudden Death, for Spanish- and then English-speaking audiences, as well as what pieces of the real world make a story into a novel....more
At Lit Hub, Tobias Carroll explores the history of authors using pen names, and what happens when these pseudonyms take on their own persona:
Under the best conditions, they can add another wrinkle to certain literary works; under the worst, they can amplify already-problematic conditions.
Fables and fairy tales and folk tales can compel us on their own, but they’re also ripe for reinvention. Some authors may take the skeleton of a centuries-old story and use it as the basis for something new; others may borrow the language or structure in order to apply them to something else entirely.
Tobias Carroll, writing for Hazlitt, dissects the influence video games have had on literature, from writers like Ernest Cline of Ready Player One to Jonathan Lethem and an entire literary anthology, Press Start to Play. We’re only waiting for Franzen to admit his obsession with playing as Oddjob in Goldeye 64, making all his friends hate him....more
Musicians have always drawn inspiration from literary artists, and vice versa. Over at Lit Hub, Tobias Carroll explores the increasingly literary side of contemporary rock festivals:
Perhaps the rise of literary events at music festivals is part of a broader move towards a growing sense of the multidisciplinary—consider Kanye West’s forays into the world of fashion, or the fact that Jim Jarmusch has, in recent years, tapped back into his musical side.
Tobias Carroll interviews Robert Kloss about his new novel, The Revelator, for Electric Literature. The two discuss the challenges of writing novels in the second person and how history shapes characters:
We have the illusion that we are in control of our lives, that we determine events, but we do not.
Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll interviews fantasy author N.K. Jemison about her character- and world-building processes, the evolution of her publication history, and narrative structure.
I read pretty widely, not just fantasy, so I don’t feel particularly wedded to the genre conventions.
Over at Lit Hub, Tobias Carroll takes a look at three recently reissued books (Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns, Genoa by Paul Metcalf, and A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin) trying again to seek out the success they deserve based on merits of exemplary craft and wonderful stories, and meditates on all these authors can offer in their previously overlooked works and what makes literary reissues so appealing....more
We can toss around “sci-fi,” “fantasy,” “magical realism,” “surrealism,” and a dozen other genres in our struggle to categorize literature, but the term “weird fiction” is an interesting category that attempts to encapsulate a unifying element. Over at Lit Hub, Tobias Caroll makes the case for “weird fiction” and covers several examples of its wide breadth....more
Fiction written under an authoritarian or totalitarian government often dares readers to view the work as a critique of that society.
In a review of two science fiction works by Cuban authors, Electric Literature takes a look at the surprising connection between oppressive political ideologies and fantastical worlds in fiction....more
Book-to-movie adaptations are nothing new, but does the transition work the other way around? Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll examines the capacity of prose to put film on paper:
This shouldn’t work, but it does. Perhaps it’s that the deconstructive elements of the novel echo another part of the world of cinema: between film school and film criticism, discussion is as much a part of cinema as images projected onto a screen.
After years of anxious separation, people are finally relaxing about the literary/genre fiction divide. Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll asks: now what?
We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror (or science fiction, or fantasy) with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye…But now that we’ve gotten past that, there’s another question raised by fiction that falls into the realm of, for lack of a more graceful term, literary horror: how does it deal with our expectations of both of its literary forebears?
In Vikram Chandra’s eyes, programming’s a lot like penning a piece:
When I first started programming, I was already writing my first novel, and the similarities became obvious right away: Both are iterative processes in which you construct bits of language and try to refine them; you try to construct complexity out of assemblages of small, simple bits of functionality.
Rumpus contributor Adam Wilson sat down with Tobias Carroll over at the Tottenville Review to discuss Wilson’s latest collection of stories, What’s Important is Feeling. Wilson reveals his interests in Occupy Wall Street and social class, observing:
And then I went away to college and went, “Oh, wait–I really do come from this incredibly privileged background.” And I had to reshape a lot of my thinking about it.
n+1 celebrates the launch of Issue Eighteen: Good News. Recess Activities, 8 p.m., $10 or free for subscribers....more
It begins with an act of divine intervention. “God reached his hand down from the sky,” sings Hutch Harris....more