Nicholas Grider in Conversation with Jean Baudrillard

griderStateIn the latest of our interview series, Jean Baudrillard interviews OON #0 contributor Nicholas Grider:






Jean Baudrillard: When you write, what is the most generous and most strict way you can frame the territory in which your writing operates? That is to say, in what sense is your work the rehearsal or simulation of communication, and in what ways can it transcend currency or reification? Does it have to?
Nicholas Grider: Ain’t never has and shall never transcend, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your situation/position in the game, such at it is, the preparation of shared language, building a bridge of which you can’t spy the other end. Language is artifact first, resemblance second, and communication third, so when I pile word upon word in a misleadingly linear order on my simulated screen-page I am at once unable to frame because I am already framed (positioned, spoken for) but also refusing to frame, to discern the fictive from the reportorial, all the while brick-building in case there is an “out there” out there to ever inhabit the elaborate framework. Or, as the late David Foster Wallace put it, “writing (a novel) is about what it means to be a fucking human being.”

JB: Does writing change your relationship to yourself in any way? Does the larger state of writing in culture change this relationship? How do you change writing itself?


NG: My writing produces an other with whom I have an anxious relationship, always wanting to perfectly match the it that it is when I write what I write and always failing in the micro. I’m writing for myself, or I’m not, or both, or in any case the consideration of such makes it feel like I’m walking around in socks that are too tight. I can’t speak to the state of writing in culture as I can’t differentiate between the two: to write is to, let’s say cultivate, and all culture is text currently under revision. Forgive my forthrightness here, but the only way to change “writing” is to turn your back to dogma and schema and just do whatever the fuck you want, and change your mind/approach/attack as much and often as you wish.

JB: What is left if we are unable to stage our experiences through media?


NG: We’re left with a public headache’s worth of second-guessing. Mediation is verification.

JB: If you could change anything about the medium of writing, what would it be?


NG: I would disabuse readers and writers of the notion of should: writing should work a certain way, should be read a certain way, or a writer should do this and not that or both or neither. I’d redact “should” and replace it with might, meaning possibly, leading the way to endless possibilites of which you, with considerable joy, can’t see the other end.

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