The Tao of Tao

I’m interested in Buddhist thinking, and wanted to write a book where the focus is only on concrete reality, on the direct and “pre-language” experience of concrete reality, in a context of “time passing.” An unmediated experience of reality seems desirable to me sometimes. None of these reasons, in my view, have anything to do with “numbness,” “ennui,” “apathy,” “condemning my generation,” “saying [anything] about my generation,” “saying [anything] about society,” “saying [anything] about the state of the world,” or “saying [anything] about technology’s effect on people.” (on Shoplifting from American Apparel)

I’m currently reading The Rumpus’ Long 2009 Interview with Tao Lin. The bolded sentence above is particularly interesting to me because that’s exactly what I get out of his writing (which, I should say, I only know peripherally).

What I’ve read of Lin’s work hasn’t made me “feel” anything but frustrated. I am, however, somewhat drawn to the persona he’s carved out for himself, and I think he’s often quite funny. This interview also suggests intelligence that’s often hard for me to read behind what appears as gimmick. At the very least he’s a contemporary author worthy of attention for his peculiar, polarizing style.

His next novel, Richard Yates, is this month’s selection for The Rumpus Book Club. I’m going in with an open mind. I also plan on seeing him read from Richard Yates at the Harvard Book Store in September.

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