Arts & Culture

The Gary Shteyngart Guide to Just About Everything

We had fun talking to him a few months back, and enjoy talking about his eating habits, but our friends at The Rumpus dug a little deeper, and got some very interesting tidbits out of the writer of Super Sad … Read More

By / July 23, 2010

We had fun talking to him a few months back, and enjoy talking about his eating habits, but our friends at The Rumpus dug a little deeper, and got some very interesting tidbits out of the writer of Super Sad True Love Story:

On fiction:

“Satire disappeared from American fiction, but American fiction also disappeared from American fiction.”

On Super Sad True Love Story’s early influences:

Shteyngart: “The initial drafts read like a bad version of an Isaac Asimov science-fiction magazine. I mean, that was what I grew up with.

Rumpus: Isaac Asimov?

Shteyngart: Oh, God. [Makes masturbatory motion.] On Saul Bellow and immigrant literature: “Bellow was an immigrant like I’m an octopus. He was from Montreal.”

On Turkish literature:

“You want to know about Turks? Translate a Turk-and not just Orhan Pamuk. A Turk you’ve never heard of. A young Turk, if you will. ”

On the national penis:

“Serious literary books used to have a choke-hold on the national penis. It was incredible.”

On this generation:

“This generation is fucked.”