The Agony and the Agony

2 Nov

As I ready my (relatively) recent conversation with self-named autographic writer Ben Katchor—a chat that was prompted by the publication of his delightful and engrossing tome The Cardboard Valise (Pantheon), something he said resonated off the digital recording into my earphones and went directly to some hotspot in my cerebral cortex —which in black and white text approaches but averts portentousness:

BK: No. Its all agony. I don’t draw for pleasure.

RB: (laughs) Did you ever?

BK: I think early on it became this agonizing thing, drawing. Trying to make these images. No, it was always—I think people who have fun making art are not really artists. They are hobbyists who want to have fun. If I want to have fun I take a walk. Or sit in a park. What I do for fun— I go to a restaurant. I do other things than to try to make picture stories. That’s agony. Hopefully, the reader gets something out of it. But its even hard for the reader. I don’t think my books are easy reads.

Stay tuned.

Currently reading The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

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