What do you think is uniquely magical about fiction?
Oh, Lordy, that could take a whole day! Well, the first line of attack for that question is that there is this existential loneliness in the real world. I don’t know what you’re thinking or what it’s like inside you and you don’t know what it’s like inside me. In fiction I think we can leap over that wall itself in a certain way. But that’s just the first level, because the idea of mental or emotional intimacy with a character is a delusion or a contrivance that’s set up through art by the writer. There’s another level that a piece of fiction is a conversation. There’s a relationship set up between the reader and the writer that’s very strange and very complicated and hard to talk about. A really great piece of fiction for me may or may not take me away and make me forget that I’m sitting in a chair. There’s real commercial stuff can do that, and a riveting plot can do that, but it doesn’t make me feel less lonely.
There’s a kind of Ah-ha! Somebody at least for a moment feels about something or sees something the way that I do. It doesn’t happen all the time. It’s these brief flashes or flames, but I get that sometimes. I feel unalone — intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I feel human and unalone and that I’m in a deep, significant conversation with another consciousness in fiction and poetry in a way that I don’t with other art.
“I really like touring solo because you have a balance of alone time and group time. Usually the driving is alone, which is a nice way to be with your thoughts, listen to music, make little stops, think about life. But then when you arrive, you are met with friends–old and new–and get to hang out, get to make food, and have a really fun show. Then you can stay up late and talk about life, then wake up and have that alone driving time again to process it all. It’s a truly awesome routine.”—http://therumpus.net/2010/03/the-rumpus-interview-with-jason-anderson/