Ben Marcus is something of a new god in the world of fiction, and especially so to those who consider themselves fans of the “experimental.” Though Marcus shies from being viewed as a leader of some sort of movement, his first two books, The Age of Wire and String and Notable American Women have thrust him into flag-bearer position as representative of an increasing freedom of style in American literature. The New York resident is now touring in support of his latest (and most “conventional”) book, The Flame Alphabet, so we called him up prior to his reading for the New Fiction Confab to talk religion and the future of literature, as well as getting pissed off about expectations.
My favorite inflammatory quote from the interview: “The idea that I am supposed to represent some movement I don’t even believe in is bullshit. I don’t represent anything but my own interest on what I want to write.”
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