Chuck Klosterman is a journalist and pop culture critic who has published books of nonfiction, including Fargo Rock City; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Killing Yourself to Live; and Chuck Klosterman IV. He also contributes articles to Esquireand the New York Times Magazine and was a former senior editor of Spin Magazine. His first novel, Downtown Owl, will be released by Scribner in September 2008. This interview was conducted in May 2008. 
Sep 01 2008
A Conversation With Chuck Klosterman
It is very difficult and kind of stupid to be confident about something that is inherently unknowable. Let’s say I think a band is better than another band: I might really believe that, and maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s true. Maybe I’m wrong. I probably think it’s probably true, in my opinion. So I don’t know why it would be better writing if I removed the “probablys” and made it a “stronger” statement. Criticism is an unclear world, and the major critics, or rather the ones who’ve seemed to establish the tone of how criticism is written, have concluded that having an authoritative voice is better, even if that fabricated authority doesn’t match the way they think. I use qualifiers because I think things need qualification.