Blake Butler Just Wants Your Attention (and Your Money)

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07/02/2009 4:00 AM |

Blake Butler is the author of Ever (Calamari Press) and Scorch Atlas (forthcoming from Featherproof Books). His work has appeared in Fence, Ninth Letter, Willow Springs, etc. He is the editor of Lamination Colony and HTML Giant, blogs at, and lives in Atlanta.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Italian filmmaker and author Luca Dipierro said: “Ever is one the few books that entered in my organism through my mouth instead of my eyes.'” I enjoyed that, as I think books should/can be as visceral as other media.

What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
Ken Sparling’s Dad Says He Saw You At The Mall was one of the freshest and most fun experiences I’ve had reading lately. It’s out of print but you can get it used on Amazon for a couple bucks. I have also enjoyed Lara Glenum’s Maximum Gaga for its wild grossness and Patrik Ourednik’s Europeana kind of blew my mind in 130 pp.

Whose ghostwritten celebrity tell-all (or novel) would you sprint to the store to buy (along with a copy of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius so that the checkout clerk doesn’t look at you screwy)?
Hm, I don’t know that I could ever find myself sprinting to the store for a celeb book, but in the matter of fairness, I would like to read consolidated thoughts by Vincent Gallo or Gaspar Noe. I am also a big fan of Harmony Korine’s fanzines, so a longer, more compulsory work by him would be mega up my alley.

Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
I used to weigh 260 pounds as 10th grader. Though I am skinny now, I am careful about what I eat. I am still a pig boy in the finest folds of me. I think having been fat can be more important to a would-be-artist than necessarily starving-land.

What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
That a person is a reader at all is nice. So my ideal interaction is that they did it at all. My most ideal would be that they have mega billions of dollars and feel that I wrote a sentence worth mega billions of dollars.

Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
Mom, I’m sorry I called you a “candy sandwich” in that one mean letter I wrote to you when I was ten. I totally didn’t mean it. You are my favorite person.