Since discovering the twitter @GuyInYourMFA, we over here at BlogDH have not been able to stop reading his all-too-familiar tweets. Those of you who aren’t up on your novel Twitter account game may be wondering who the heck this guy even is. But his 10.4K followers (the last time we checked), who include heavy hitters Michael Agger, Susan Orlean, and Mara Wilson, have come to know him as the pretentious, literary douchebag we all love to hate. So, naturally, when we found out he went to Brown, we began our quest to get a hold of him. After searching long and hard, we finally found this infamous guy in your MFA and asked him a few questions to help us better understand his complex mind.
BlogDH: Are you working on anything right now?
@GuyInYourMFA: I’m working on a 400-thousand word manifesto on all the ways my parents failed me by not raising me in a creative environment.
BlogDH: What do you think is the hardest part of being a straight, white male in America?
@GuyInYourMFA: Don’t get me started. It’s pretty hard to find a voice nowadays. I think that consumerism has really corrupted what it means to be an American. Back in the forties when we went to war, the draft really shaped a generation. Now, we’ve been lost. iPhones, computers…what is our generation, even? These are the types of questions we should be asking. That’s what I seek to do with my writing.
BlogDH: What exactly do you think it is that our generation is missing?
@GuyInYourMFA: Typewriters, mostly. Nothing ruins writing more than doing it on a computer. That’s why I type all my tweets on a typewriter and send them off to a friend to upload to the internet. I don’t really understand the internet, I think it’s a distraction from real literature.
BlogDH: Where did you get your undergrad?
@GuyInYourMFA: You know, a small school in Boston. Well, Cambridge.
BlogDH: Describe your writing process.
@GuyInYourMFA: It’s kind of mysterious. When the inspiration comes to me I just have to set it down. I like to be isolated. Usually smoke a few herbal, hand-rolled, filterless cigarettes. I pour myself a glass of whiskey. Get in a quiet headspace and just wait for the muse.
BlogDH: What are some authors you take inspiration from?
@GuyInYourMFA: So many. Straight, white males have had such an influential presence in literature. Bukowski, of course. Cheever. Raymond Carver. In fact, my one man show The Many Ghosts of Raymond Carver is going up next weekend and I hope everyone attends.
BlogDH: Earlier you mentioned a muse. Do you have a muse?
@GuyInYourMFA: Just the ephemeral muse of literature. It’s more of an abstract idea, I’m not sure if you’d understand.
BlogDH: What drink do you normally order?
@GuyInYourMFA: I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it but I always get aged whiskey on the rocks.
BlogDH: Would you rather live in New York or San Francisco?
@GuyInYourMFA: Is that even a question? New York is the living, breathing hub of all literary inspiration. I’ve mentioned this in some of my tweets but even when the novel takes place in a different city, I consider New York the primary character.
BlogDH: What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind?
@GuyInYourMFA: I hope to write the great American novel. And then the second great American novel to displace the first. So, two really good American novels but one just slightly better than the other.
BlogDH: Are you single?
@GuyInYourMFA: Not many women can mesh with me. Women seem to have trouble understanding the complexity both of my writing and of me, the individual. So while I enjoy the company of the fairer sex, I find it difficult to find an emotional connection.
BlogDH: How would you define a millennial?
@GuyInYourMFA: One could look at it from the perspective of just the years they were born, but I say that’s a limited way of approaching what our generation is. A millennial is anyone who embraces the spirit and challenge of our age. Are any of us millennials? Am I a millennial? Are you a millennial? I don’t know. Maybe we’ll never know.
BlogDH: If you could say one thing to your generation, what would it be?
@GuyInYourMFA: Even if you don’t understand it, try to read serious literature. I mean, you probably won’t understand it–at least not to the degree I do–but you should still try.
BlogDH: What do you think of the other people in your MFA?