Riding the Blinds with Maggie Nelson

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Maggie Nelson

Micah McCrary  interviews Maggie Nelson, author most recently of The Argonauts, in The Los Angeles Review of Books, delving into her thoughts on the difficulties of tone,  her use of ‘autotheory,’ and control and surrender in the writing process. Below is an excerpt followed by a link to the full interview

Which brings us back to the subject of autobiographical writing. How do you personally know what to aim for when writing about the self, as opposed to writing in order to react to what you’ve read or seen?

I don’t make a big distinction between writing about “myself” and writing about “larger issues.” (Maybe I’m Emersonian in that way, or just feminist.) I guess I treat myself as a sort of mystery or microcosm or materialized fulcrum for the larger issues in a project, be they justice, fear, spectacle, voyeurism, heartbreak, sadism, masochism, happiness, perception…

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