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The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

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Michael Chabon: IAF Mole?
by Ellen Kushner | August 26th, 2008 |

See, for instance, his August 21, 2008 interview in the LATimes; the interviewer says he spoke to Chabon about “a process by which sophisticated writers are kept in the genre ghetto and readers are scared away from novels and stories they might otherwise love” (didn’t we just put that in our mission statement?) and Chabon says things like:
[T]here is a whole list of borderland writers – John Crowley, Jorge Luis Borges, Steven Millhauser, Thomas Pynchon – writers who can dwell between worlds.

and

Tolkien’s “Cauldron of Story” is one of my central ways of thinking about what I do…. the “Cauldon of Story” includes not only recognizably literary elements, and root elements like folk tale and fairy tale and Bible stories which have always been acknowledged as part of the writers tool kit, but also this other material [e.g. Norse mythology, Jewish fables, '80s American comics, Sherlock Holmes], which in turn is just further reflections and emanations of these fundamental kinds of stories.

So what does it all mean? Can the IAF just pack it up and go home, because someone with a lot more clout is doing our work for us? Or can we use our own resources to help Chabon fight the good fight?

finish line

One Response to “Michael Chabon: IAF Mole?”

  1. The Nerd Cultural Insurgency? ¦ The Interstitial Arts Foundation Says:

    [...] We’ve alluded in the past to Michael Chabon’s possibly being an IAF Mole, but this report from Wondercon 2009 drives it home: [Chabon] was born in 1963, and grew up during a Lee/Kirby hegemony, immersed in genre fiction of all kinds – Lovecraft, Conan Doyle, Moorcock, Leiber (if I judge Gentlemen of the Road’s influences correctly). In the days pre-internet, even pre-VHS, fans of pulpy genre work had a lonelier watch to keep, turning out for only the rare face-to-face moments at screenings and conventions. [...]

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