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Why Blake Butler Has Never Tried Drugs
"I don't know," he says. "It's like this is my acid."
Dale Peck On A Certain Tradition of Novelists
The controversy-courting, former New Republic critic Dale Peck once described the "esoteric strain of twentieth-century literature," a strain to which Butler certainly ascribes, as heir to a "bankrupt tradition [...] that began with the diarrheic flow of words that is Ulysses; continued on through the incomprehensible ramblings of late Faulkner and the sterile inventions of Nabokov; and then burst into full, foul life in the ridiculous dithering of Barth and Hawkes and Gaddis, and the reductive cardboard constructions of Barthelme, and the word-by-word wasting of a talent as formidable as Pynchon's; and finally broke apart like a cracked sidewalk beneath the weight of the stupid — just plain stupid — tomes of DeLillo." Names aside, Peck's mostly vitriolic adjectives — diarrheic, incomprehensible, foul, ridiculous, formidable, cracked — are a lexicon for the ecstatic pleasures of Butler's prose. It runs over with diarrheic, foul flow; it bursts and cracks with inventions and constructions. The beauty of There Is No Year is in the discomfort and dis-ease of words.
"The father threw up on the ground. In the vomit, there were errors — strings not vomit, but language, light. The bunched up bits were writing something, words at once sunk into the ground." — There Is No Year
Something To Note About The Differences Between Blake Butler and Blake Butler
When he sits down at the computer to write, the screen reflects in his eyes and his head casts a shadow on the screen.