Elizabeth Bachner: I’m obsessed with the idea of whether there are differences between a character and a person, an author and a self, and I love the brilliant and playful way your feminist deconstruction of A Streetcar Named Desire approaches these questions. What are your ways of thinking about autobiography versus fiction, “real” versus imaginary or invented? How do you use yourself in your work? How does your work change and shape your life?
Lillian Ann Slugocki: My life is like this scrapbook of stories, and people, and cities–and I look at it, dispassionately, as the raw material for my work. But having said that, there are many layers over and under the autobiography. I layer myth–my current obsessions are Leda, Orpheus, Eurydice and Leander–as well as narrative structure–e.g. a conflict and its resolution, as well as intertexuality. I use echoes of T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Angela Carter, plus all the lit crit I studied at New York University: Judith Butler, Thelma Shinn, Gayle Green, Mircea Eliade, Luce Irigaray, Julie Kristeva, and Audre Lord. The result is that the I, first person, in my work is me, but not me–an amplified version. Stronger, wiser, certainly more flawed, and certainly more interesting.
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