The Virtual Memories Show

"The word is far more real than the world": Jerome Charyn rejoins the show to celebrate his new novel, RAVAGE & SON (Bellevue Literary Press), a fantastic noir about the Lower East Side in 1913. We talk about his love for the LES and the Bintel Briefs in The Forward, why he wanted to write a Jewish Jekyll & Hyde story, and how adopting a cat changed the course of this amazing novel. We also get into life on the page, the music of the sentence, and the self-revelation of writing, why so many of his characters attend Harvard, the holiness of books and why he reads so little of others' books nowadays, treating writing as an apprenticeship rather than a career, and how he got overwhelmed for a year after writing in Abe Lincoln's voice. Plus we discuss his reverence of Joyce Carol Oates and Cormac McCarthy (and ambivalence toward Henry James, who makes an appearance in Ravage & Son), the reason so many of his characters attend Harvard, the sense of being transported by the ballet performances of Allegra Kent, how it felt to write a character who's in love with destruction, why gender fluidity is essential to human nature, and the one advantage to living long enough: understanding that nothing remains and everything disappears. Follow Jerome on Twitter, and listen to our 2019, 2021, and 2022 conversations • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our Substack

Direct download: Episode_551_-_Jerome_Charyn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT

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