killkylee just sent me the greatest wayne koestenbaum interview:
"anyone is a superstar—if a recording angel is present to frame and aestheticize those stations of the cross."
"my forthcoming book on harpo marx emerged from inner urgency. such projects begin with numinous fascination or absorption. a crush. at the beginning of the queen’s throat i refer to this sensation—you notice something arresting or irregular about a stranger, and you to want to see that trait again. it may be a feature that on the surface you find unattractive. but you recognize it; you want to revisit it. that process of obsessive revisitation is falling in love.”
"i eroticize; it’s part of my business."
“there was a layering process—my various métiers piled up, one aesthetic vocation stacked upon another.”
“for whatever historical reason, my desires are oriented towards profoundly theatrical women. theatrical in many ways. through reticence as well as through overkill, over-abundance of gesture.”
"being a recluse, and spending a lot of time by myself, as most writer / artist people do, i’m accustomed to developing an agenda, an itinerary and a vocabulary for navigating fantasy figures. it’s easy for a movie star or a singer to acquire the status of an artwork."
"i decided that i would rather die than continue to write in a more traditional academic fashion."
"i side with books that have a small or weird readership—non-commercial, experimental books, some of which accidentally reach a ‘wider’ audience. academic books are not the enemy. academic books, the interesting ones, are in the same boat as experimental essays or poetry.”
"academics, like artists, are involved in life quests. and yet an academic, unlike an artist, is rarely asked: why are you interested in this project? when did you become interested in it? what does it feel like physically when you’re writing or researching? when you’re writing, what are the moments that deeply excite or unnerve you? do you ever have dreams about your subject? put a dream in this chapter. stick a dream into the paragraph, right in the middle, without warning, and see what happens. some academics, shy, are dismissive of their own inner lives."
“my inner life is more interesting than my ideas. the most accurate morsels i can offer the world are autobiographical asides. when i’m writing, when i hit that material, i tend to believe in its necessity. i’m a natural divulger; i feel happy when i’m divulging. i don’t feel authentic when i’m framing things abstractly.”
“if you ever find yourself in the position of wanting to say accurately what you desire, and how you desire it, you’re going to get in trouble. whether it’s because you pray weirdly, or because you speak weirdly, or because you speak too slowly or too elaborately. the problem of being illegible remains a grave one. it doesn’t matter if there are queer characters on tv shows; if you’re gertrude stein you’re still going to get in trouble. you’ll be a fat jew who repeats herself.”