The great American novel

is the great American travel book is the great American screenplay is the great American whatever, pretentious in concept, grandiose in scope. There’s no reason to write anything else, really. There’s no reason to do anything in life except contemplate the moment of your death. Everything else is just trivia, facts and figures, characters and plots. I can think of a few plots I’d like to put some of those characters in. They’re all fake, abstractions of abstractions, stories about stories. Not that I didn’t try the same thing myself. I did. I still do. I ran imaginary people through imaginary situations, sending them up trees, throwing rocks at them, then looking for ways to get them down. The only good parts were the digressions, the spontaneous emissions, slips of the tongue, slices of reality in an otherwise bland pound cake. I was just making it all up. There are no good novels anymore, just stories, fabrications coming out of thousands of tiny fantasy factories lining the back streets of New York, London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin, all screaming for your loyalty and your pocketbooks’ attentions. If there has to be some objective measurement of ‘what’s good’, then let it be money. Otherwise we swim in our opinions with no hope of resolution.

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