Categories are bad news (Barry Hannah)

 WT: Do you read magazines?

BH: If someone would rave about a story in the New Yorker, I’ll read it. But you get a lot of that Woody Allen–New Yorker–Hamptons fiction. My [students] have to send off to the little magazines. I get the sense that only grad students read those.

WT: Writer’s writers?

BH: I don’t like that term, because I wouldn’t buy somebody’s album on a dare if they called him a musician’s musician. I don’t write to be a writer’s writer. I don’t want to be like the little-magazine writer. I don’t want to be that.

Categories are bad news. Being Southern will just kill you sometimes. It’s not always a graceful adjective. Sometimes it means, don’t bother because it’s gonna be [sings a lick from dueling banjos]. It’s gonna be: porch, banjo, Negroes. There’s a canned dream of the South that a lot of people get into, and I’ve resisted that stuff my entire so-called career. Ready-made Southernism just disgusts me, just makes me nauseated. I mean, you can’t see a movie without hearing that goddamned slide guitar. Shit, I’m just so tired of it.

 

From Barry Hannah’s interview with Wells Tower in The Believer.

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2 thoughts on “Categories are bad news (Barry Hannah)”

  1. well said. I’ve had enuff of Woody Allen (pedophile, UWS snob, etc) to last me a lifetime. If you’re a NY Jew, that’s the the norm. Anyone else is a ‘Southern’ writer or a ‘woman’ writer or a ‘black’ writer. yawn.

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