ISSUES | fall 1996

19.2 Cover

19.2 (Fall 1996): "Comic Fiction"

Featuring work by Daniel Akst, Dwight Allen, David Baker, Robert Olen Butler, Daniel Halpern, Jesse Kercheval, Gerald Shapiro, Ned Stuckey-French, David Wojahn, and Nancy Zafris… an interview with William Maxwell… and a special feature history-as-literature by Arvarh Strickland.


CONTENT FROM THIS ISSUE

19.2 Cover

Interviews

Sep 01 1996

A Conversation with William Maxwell

Interviewer: You’ve said you learned from E.B. White that the “I” should always be a real character in any piece that you’ve written. Have you ever had a sense in your writing life that you were flying in the face of current convention, or being old-fashioned, by adhering to that principle?

Maxwell: I never worried about being old-fashioned because the books I’ve continued to read all my life have been the Russians. I wanted to write about people, men and women. What’s old-fashioned about men and women?

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Fiction

Sep 01 1996

The Twelve Plagues

When the phone rang, Rosenthal was kicking a canvas to shreds in the middle of his studio. He’d already thrown a can of wet brushes against the far wall and had kicked a tray of paint across the room, leaving an attractive boat-shaped smear of burnt sienna sailing along the whitewashed floorboards. The place should have been condemned, and so should Rosenthal: trapped inside another night of failure in a season of failure, locked in a listless, drifting orbit around a failing sun.