It's also true, however, that having conquered the regional writer ghetto, I am now intent on conquering the nationalist writer ghetto and moving out into the world more.
My grandfather was a newspaper publisher and his paper had all the comics in NYC, so some of my earliest memories are of reading the family paper and heading straight for the comics insert.
So while it is true that I find really dark stuff funny sometimes, it's also true that as a writer of books I want to have the whole range of human emotions.
All the stuff that I used to treat with contempt - you know, I'm an artist, man, I don't do that family stuff - has begun to seem really important.
But that incessant drive to be out there in the literary universe that was important to me when I was in my twenties, like going to a Paris Review party or whatever, that seems totally irrelevant now.
It turns out that my memory is just not that great, so for specific scenes with people doing stuff, sometimes I'd have the details all wrong or I couldn't remember what happened exactly, so I just let that be.
This is odd, but there are certain things that are really embarrassing to talk about - one is my job and the success that I've had in it, and the other is money.
When prose gets too stylized and out of control - and Stein is sometimes a good example - when you don't know what the hell is going on, then it's kind of boring.
I am in Boston right now, in fact, to do work at the New England Historical Genealogical Library, where I'm trying to finish up tracing my lineage back to the seventeenth century.
I didn't know how to kill off a character unless I was able, as a narrator, to get really complicated. Because it was a big deal. I'd never killed a character before.