Conversation with Alden Bell

Conversation with Alden Bell

an interesting excerpt:

But, yes, I think you hit the nail on the head with Cormac McCarthy. He was a huge influence on the narrative style of the book – along with other writers of the Southern Gothic genre: Tom Franklin, William Gay, Daniel Woodrell. Behind them all, of course, is William Faulkner. Faulkner is my cornerstone. Reapers is loaded with pretty overt references to him.

And, yes, I really am quite susceptible to the styles of books I’m reading. That’s one of the reasons Hummingbirds is so different from Reapers. One day I’m reading Muriel Spark, the next I’m reading Cormac McCarthy. Especially when I’m at the beginning of a novel, I try not to read anything that will derail the style – at least until the book is sufficiently established. I once got on a Virginia Woolf kick in the middle of trying to write something – and the story wound itself into such knots of internal monologue that I had to abandon it entirely.


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