Sam Lipsyte in an interview with New York Tyrant:

“I don’t know if you can say [writers today] are doing any one thing in particular. We might be post-trends, a little. It’s similar to clothing. I see groups of people hanging out and one person has a huge Mohawk and a Negative Approach t-shirt and another is in disco gear and another is doing some kind of Olivia-Newton John in Xanadu number and somebody else is Brad Davis in Querelle and here come the banker and the lumberjack and it’s all fine, there are no warring philosophies here. Everybody is finally only judged on their ability to fulfill their goals. She’s into Richard Yates, he adores Mary Robison, his friend loves Joseph McElroy, the other guy writes like Alice Munro. The Barthelme, Sebald, Bolano, and Denis Johnson contingents will be over in a minute. The launch party starts in an hour. I’m all for it. The camps are stupid. They mattered once but they are stupid now. You can’t do without realism and you also can’t do without the advances of certain formalists, metafictionists, post-modernists, either. They are all just techniques. If you ignore one or the other completely you’re bogged down in some very old mire. The only onus on the writer is to be fucking outstanding. To be undeniable.”

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3 thoughts on “Post-Trends

  1. Luke says:


    Just wanted to say that I keep coming across your excellent Fun Camp shorts and have been enjoying them greatly. Hopefully you’ll one day (soon) publish them together in a collection and there’ll be that sweet, sweet cumulative effect. Perhaps you can get Bill Murray (of Meatballs fame) or Ernest (of Ernest Goes to Camp fame) to provide a blurb.

  2. Gabe Durham says:

    Luke: Ernest did go to camp, didn’t he? I’ll have to watch it as “research.” I’ve already got “Sleepaway Camp” (which I’m told is a horror classic) in my netflix cue.

    Anyway, thanks for saying so! I’d love to see these shorts collected some day. It looks like you and me might be in the same online issue of Pank this summer. Looking forward to it.

  3. […] Women? Awesome. Two guys who can’t see far enough past their own great projects to appreciate how fun and accommodating the Big Tent is. The joy of the varied diet. In the end, what a boring flame war that […]

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