Farkas will be the featured reader at the Final Thursday Reading Series on April 27 at the Hearst Center for the Arts in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The in-person open mic takes place at 7:00 p.m. and Andrew Farkas takes the stage at 7:30. Farkas’s reading will also be simulcast on Zoom. Click HERE to register for a Zoom link.
Interview by Jim O’Loughlin
JO: I had a similar experience in that the pandemic gave me time to finish up some projects I had started but made it impossible to tackle something brand new. I read a recent interview with you in the Brooklyn Rail (which, to continue the theme, was a cultural lifeline for me during the pandemic with their daily Zoomcast events), and you said you had a “laid-back way with everything, which stems from my absurdist worldview.” Can you talk about how absurdism helps you approach the world around you?
JO: Since you've always worked with fiction in the past, what was it like writing creative nonfiction?
AF: Seeing as how a lot of my fiction is metafiction, I thought it was going to be easy (since even when I'm making things up, I'm telling the reader I'm making things up). But I did have to struggle with the constant problem all creative nonfiction writers who aren't famous have to struggle with: why would anyone want to read about me? One way I hope I solve that is by filling my essays with humor. So, if for no other reason, people might want to read about me to laugh at me (and also with me). I also use lots of different kinds of references, meaning I include a great deal beyond myself that readers might be interested in (various films, urban legends, physics, pop culture, etc.). Furthermore, our interior lives are part of reality also. So when I really felt that I needed to invent something to bring an essay together, I used lines like "I think" or "I imagine" and even though what happens next didn't necessarily happen in the physical world, the reader understands it happened in my mind and is now happening in their minds. Since I also knew that I could play with the structure of each essay, I ended up learning that the creative nonfiction genre is very plastic, not rigid the way so many people believe.