Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

Part Five: My Evening with David and Dean – A Conversation in Five Parts

Part Five of a great conversation I had with Jeff Ayers​ and David Greenberger (of Duplex Planet fame)​ during my 4-week retreat at Yaddo​ and a few visits to The Comic Depot in Saratoga Springs, NY​. Hosted at Fanboys, Inc.


"I like Shakespeare, and I was into David Mamet, and I’m a big fan of Richard S. Prather, who is a crime noir writer – if you are going to write, have fun with it.

I dated a woman who would read Pekar, and she would say his grammar was appalling, and would sit there and want to fix the way something was spelled, and the way the sentences were structured, and I’d say “What are you doing?” That is the whole point, it’s observational, it is not supposed to be right. People have said that I am like a beat poet, and I don’t feel that way, but if that is the closest you can assign a criticism to something, I’ll take it."

"Jonathan Ames is another great writer, and I am lucky enough to call him a good friend. He also has this writing style that is vulnerable yet smart. Part of smart writing is to not make the reader feel like they are dumb, so you can feel inspired to tell your stories. It’s like Alex Toth, people will look at his stuff and think his stuff is really simple. But it’s highly sophisticated. You have to earn those few lines of art, and I am trying to do that with my own work. I look at my early stuff and I can see where I was going, but there is also a mess in some of it. Being able to boil down a story, to convey something is the goal. I haven’t read all of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road yet, but I suspect there is a simplification of the writing in that. I have read a chapter or two, and it was just actions; they went and did this, and then they went and did that, and then there might be some dialogue. Some of my favorite film making, like the first 10 or 15 minutes of Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, there are no words, and it’s incredible."

Read part five here:

  • Navigating humanity in a digital culture.

    A month ago a new neighbor contacted me to let me know an older neighbor fell down the stairs and hit their head. The old man was bleeding/etc.…

  • ALL DRESSED, NOWHERE TO GO with Dean Haspiel

    My friend/writer Amy Stein-Milford hung out with me for an afternoon in Red Hook to catch up on our lives during the pandemic, discuss art, our…

  • Mo and Joe and Noah

    When a kid in 2nd grade named Noah from Missouri writes you a letter about his favorite book: MO and JO, FIGHTING TOGETHER FOREVER (Toon Books),…

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