Richard Meltzer Interview

You've written about sports, television, popular culture, and of course,
rock-n-roll. What're your passions these days?

Well, if you're talking culturally, I can't say anything--any "genre" of
culture--means more to me these days than just, well, living life. That of
course includes things like hanging out in bars, talking philosophy while
drinking ales as bitter as hemlock...which on some days feels like Culture
with a capital C. Y'know: ritual occasions for mammal bonding and getoff.
And I do listen to a lot of old blues records.

For a long time you worked on fairly simple typewriters until you finally
got a computer just a couple of years ago. How is this new technology
treating you?

I hate computers. I don't watch TV, so why would I want to write on one?
My estimate is it takes me a third LONGER to write now--now that if you
wanna be published, computers are compulsory--than it did before.

What kind of writing are you doing these days? Any plans for another
"novel" like The Night (Alone)?

Working on a new novel, A WORLD THAT DON'T EXIST. It's a mix of low-low
comedy and total filth ("smut," if you will), and I haven't enjoyed a
writing project this much in YEARS.

You lived in New York for a long time, then L.A., now Portland. Where are
your most and least favorite places in the world?

Well, L.A. is the worst place in the known universe--speaking objectively,
of course--and Portland, though it's been going through some pretty horrible
alterations (the same sick yuppifications and gentrifications as anywhere
else, if a bit later), still suits me fine. I feel like a citizen here,
where in both N.Y. and L.A. I often felt like a leper.

What do you think small presses have to offer for writers and readers?

At best, an uncompromised regard for language as weapon and sustenance and
source of infinite joy.

Who are some of the writers (small and big press) you admire?

I still read mostly dead people (Faulkner, Kerouac, Conrad, etc.)...I got a
very late start as a reader and have a lot of catching up to do.

What's your poison?

As I mentioned, really strong bitter microbrewed ales and such. For inst:
Dead Guy Ale by Rogue Brewing (in bottles or on tap).