Horton Foote I’m a compulsive writer, I suppose. I mean whatever I write I would write it, regardless of salary.Stuart Spencer Is that what compulsive means?HF I think so. Well, I don’t sit down and say, will this sell, is there a good market for this, I’ve never had that capacity.SS But they do sell, you certainly …HF Well, that’s fine. I’m delighted about that. But you know you just, I think too many writers occupy themselves … well, I shouldn’t say that. I once read Truman Capote say he couldn’t conceive of writing anything that he didn’t get paid for. Most of my life I thought I should pay people to let me write. I felt so happy to be writing.
—BOMB 15/1986

Horton Foote I’m a compulsive writer, I suppose. I mean whatever I write I would write it, regardless of salary.

Stuart Spencer Is that what compulsive means?

HF I think so. Well, I don’t sit down and say, will this sell, is there a good market for this, I’ve never had that capacity.

SS But they do sell, you certainly …

HF Well, that’s fine. I’m delighted about that. But you know you just, I think too many writers occupy themselves … well, I shouldn’t say that. I once read Truman Capote say he couldn’t conceive of writing anything that he didn’t get paid for. Most of my life I thought I should pay people to let me write. I felt so happy to be writing.

BOMB 15/1986

  • I think things in the Theatre are bubbling a bit under the surface—there is a period of quiescence.
—Lindzee Smith, BOMB 5/Spring 1983

    I think things in the Theatre are bubbling a bit under the surface—there is a period of quiescence.

    —Lindzee Smith, BOMB 5/Spring 1983

  • Frederic Tuten Good manners don’t matter. Good taste doesn’t matter. Culture doesn’t matter. Those things are just gone. I think there was a time, probably, when people might have thought vulgarity was fresh. That vulgarity had a sort of …Bruce Wolmer … energy and vitality … FT And maybe an honesty and a purity to it, that it could be excused if the intention behind it wasn’t crude. I think none of that applies anymore. And I think this is the case today with language too.
—BOMB 25/Fall1998

    Frederic Tuten Good manners don’t matter. Good taste doesn’t matter. Culture doesn’t matter. Those things are just gone. I think there was a time, probably, when people might have thought vulgarity was fresh. That vulgarity had a sort of …

    Bruce Wolmer … energy and vitality …

    FT And maybe an honesty and a purity to it, that it could be excused if the intention behind it wasn’t crude. I think none of that applies anymore. And I think this is the case today with language too.

    BOMB 25/Fall1998

  • For my generation, the civil rights years affected many of us for our lifetimes, because it gave us a sense of empowerment that allows us, at 40, to think on a global level, and to think that things can happen if people get together.
—Thulani Davis, BOMB 33/Fall 1990

    For my generation, the civil rights years affected many of us for our lifetimes, because it gave us a sense of empowerment that allows us, at 40, to think on a global level, and to think that things can happen if people get together.


    —Thulani Davis, BOMB 33/Fall 1990

  • Mona Simpson I wanted to write about American mythologies, American yearnings that might be responses, delayed or exaggerated but in some way typical, to the political and social truths of our part of the world in our century. But I wrote very personally about one family. I think it takes a long time before a crisis—like AIDS—enters the culture to a point where responses exist in a character, where personal gestures are both individual and resonant in a larger way.Amanda Meer Which American myths?MS Myths about class and class change. And invention, self-invention. So many myths about the self-made man, positive and negative, involve men. The shining or the dark sides of the American dream are peopled with men; Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, Horatio Alger’s entrepreneurs. So I wanted to write about an ambitious woman, a woman who re-invents herself.
—BOMB 20/Summer1987

    Mona Simpson I wanted to write about American mythologies, American yearnings that might be responses, delayed or exaggerated but in some way typical, to the political and social truths of our part of the world in our century. But I wrote very personally about one family. I think it takes a long time before a crisis—like AIDS—enters the culture to a point where responses exist in a character, where personal gestures are both individual and resonant in a larger way.

    Amanda Meer Which American myths?

    MS Myths about class and class change. And invention, self-invention. So many myths about the self-made man, positive and negative, involve men. The shining or the dark sides of the American dream are peopled with men; Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, Horatio Alger’s entrepreneurs. So I wanted to write about an ambitious woman, a woman who re-invents herself.

    BOMB 20/Summer1987

  • 
Lynn Geller: A friend of mine was saying recently that he hates standup comics because he feels like the comedians are really saying, “Laugh or I’ll kill you.”
Christopher Guest: Well, there’s desperation. It’s an awful love/hate thing, a paradox and it’s very delicate. When you get older you realize by loosening up, by letting go a little bit, that’s what makes you more accessible; that by actually throwing it away, it gets funnier and people are more attracted to that than a wall you create. But I see that attitude a lot.
LG: Did you ever have that attitude?
CG: I think I did in my twenties, that elitism. I was never a standup, but I definitely thought how could someone find me funny and like Silver Spoons—what could he/she be thinking? But basically, who cares, you know? Now I feel, that’s that; I’m me.
—BOMB 29/Fall 1989

    Lynn Geller: A friend of mine was saying recently that he hates standup comics because he feels like the comedians are really saying, “Laugh or I’ll kill you.”

    Christopher Guest: Well, there’s desperation. It’s an awful love/hate thing, a paradox and it’s very delicate. When you get older you realize by loosening up, by letting go a little bit, that’s what makes you more accessible; that by actually throwing it away, it gets funnier and people are more attracted to that than a wall you create. But I see that attitude a lot.

    LG: Did you ever have that attitude?

    CG: I think I did in my twenties, that elitism. I was never a standup, but I definitely thought how could someone find me funny and like Silver Spoons—what could he/she be thinking? But basically, who cares, you know? Now I feel, that’s that; I’m me.

    BOMB 29/Fall 1989

  • 
I totally consider myself an American writer, and that has been my big battle: to get to realize that my roots as a writer are no longer, if they ever were, among Indian writers, but that I am writing about the territory about the feelings, of a new kind of pioneer here in America. I’m the first among Asian immigrants to be making this distinction between immigrant writing and expatriate writing. Most Indian writers prior to this, have still thought of themselves as Indians, and their literary inspiration, has come from India. India has been the source, and home. Whereas I’m saying, those are wonderful roots, but now my roots are here and my emotions are here in North America.
I’m not writing like a Richard Ford or a John Updike, that’s not the only America. It has many pluralities. I’m writing about an American immigrant group who are undergoing many transformations within themselves. And who, by their very presence, are changing the country. America is not the America that, until recently, has come through in contemporary popular fiction.
—Bharati Mukherjee, BOMB 29/Fall 1989

    I totally consider myself an American writer, and that has been my big battle: to get to realize that my roots as a writer are no longer, if they ever were, among Indian writers, but that I am writing about the territory about the feelings, of a new kind of pioneer here in America. I’m the first among Asian immigrants to be making this distinction between immigrant writing and expatriate writing. Most Indian writers prior to this, have still thought of themselves as Indians, and their literary inspiration, has come from India. India has been the source, and home. Whereas I’m saying, those are wonderful roots, but now my roots are here and my emotions are here in North America.

    I’m not writing like a Richard Ford or a John Updike, that’s not the only America. It has many pluralities. I’m writing about an American immigrant group who are undergoing many transformations within themselves. And who, by their very presence, are changing the country. America is not the America that, until recently, has come through in contemporary popular fiction.

    —Bharati Mukherjee, BOMB 29/Fall 1989

  • 
Liz Diamond: Are there special qualities that you want your actors to bring to the work?
Joseph Chaikin: I want those little Beckett things.
—BOMB 68/Summer 1999

    Liz Diamond: Are there special qualities that you want your actors to bring to the work?

    Joseph Chaikin: I want those little Beckett things.

    BOMB 68/Summer 1999

  • 
Edward Said: But the other thing I find troubling is how the world has changed as a result. People began to think xenophobically. The worst evidence being what happened in Lebanon: Christians versus Muslims, Palestinians versus Arabs. It’s the whole problem with Israel, where people think in terms of identities.Phillip Lopate: You talk about that in Culture and Imperialism: the curse of identity politics.ES: That’s ruined a lot of lives, and that’s why I’m so resolutely against having this tremendous sense of where you belong. It’s overrated. It doesn’t give people enough of a chance to feel different, to feel like the other, which is an important feeling to have, and it’s slowly disappearing.PL: I would agree.
—BOMB 69/1999

    Edward Said: But the other thing I find troubling is how the world has changed as a result. People began to think xenophobically. The worst evidence being what happened in Lebanon: Christians versus Muslims, Palestinians versus Arabs. It’s the whole problem with Israel, where people think in terms of identities.

    Phillip Lopate: You talk about that in Culture and Imperialism: the curse of identity politics.

    ES: That’s ruined a lot of lives, and that’s why I’m so resolutely against having this tremendous sense of where you belong. It’s overrated. It doesn’t give people enough of a chance to feel different, to feel like the other, which is an important feeling to have, and it’s slowly disappearing.

    PL: I would agree.

    BOMB 69/1999

  • Stuart Spencer: Speaking of obligations, is there a political sensibility at work in your selection of roles? I hesitate to use the term “feminism,” but…Jane Alexander: No, that’s O.K. I’m a feminist because it’s the fair thing, it’s the right thing.
BOMB 36/Summer 1991

    Stuart Spencer: Speaking of obligations, is there a political sensibility at work in your selection of roles? I hesitate to use the term “feminism,” but…

    Jane Alexander: No, that’s O.K. I’m a feminist because it’s the fair thing, it’s the right thing.

    BOMB 36/Summer 1991

  • Sergio Vega: I will always be devoted to paradise in one way or another. One way of ending it would be to simply move there, and live in the Garden of Eden forever after. Although I’m thinking about other projects for the future. One of them is to isolate Saint Francis’s and Che Guevara’s DNA, then blend both of them into one being and resurrect him like Lazarus. Designed to be a great leader, he will turn this nasty world we live in into a paradise for all. If I fail with the experiment, I’m going to get a parrot and teach him to sing the Internationale.
Nicolás Guagnini: What you mean is that making art is like being in paradise?SV: Making art is like being in paradise. Being a professional artist is a lousy purgatory.
BOMB 74/Winter 2001

    Sergio Vega: I will always be devoted to paradise in one way or another. One way of ending it would be to simply move there, and live in the Garden of Eden forever after. Although I’m thinking about other projects for the future. One of them is to isolate Saint Francis’s and Che Guevara’s DNA, then blend both of them into one being and resurrect him like Lazarus. Designed to be a great leader, he will turn this nasty world we live in into a paradise for all. If I fail with the experiment, I’m going to get a parrot and teach him to sing the Internationale.

    Nicolás Guagnini: What you mean is that making art is like being in paradise?

    SV: Making art is like being in paradise. Being a professional artist is a lousy purgatory.

    BOMB 74/Winter 2001

  • Marshall Blonsky: I interviewed a director of a gallery recently who said the age that we live in, the post-modern, is so constructed with artifice and messages coming from media that we’ve lost contact with our feelings and have lost interest in anything like nature, the sublime. In some sense then, you’re opposed to this state of affairs.
Alexander Liberman: I am. It’s really art against nature, to a certain point. The sublime used to be vested in nature, and I think now it can be vested in art—but more than that, great art needs passion.
MB: So obviously you would not accept the so-called Post-Modern condition.
AL: It’s tradition and at the same time a revolt against it that still governs my creative thinking.
MB: How do you think of that tradition in relation to mysticism?
AL: Well, for me it’s mysterious and unexplainable. I think many religions have tried to explain too much. I am afraid of the word sublime—for the artist it does not consciously exist—it can only be an unacknowledged aspiration of his inner being. There is a thirst for the sublime that, in my opinion, is closer to that tradition, which involved a relationship with God, with no intermediaries. I think an artist needs this.
—Bomb 16/Summer 1986

    Marshall Blonsky: I interviewed a director of a gallery recently who said the age that we live in, the post-modern, is so constructed with artifice and messages coming from media that we’ve lost contact with our feelings and have lost interest in anything like nature, the sublime. In some sense then, you’re opposed to this state of affairs.

    Alexander Liberman: I am. It’s really art against nature, to a certain point. The sublime used to be vested in nature, and I think now it can be vested in art—but more than that, great art needs passion.

    MB: So obviously you would not accept the so-called Post-Modern condition.

    AL: It’s tradition and at the same time a revolt against it that still governs my creative thinking.

    MB: How do you think of that tradition in relation to mysticism?

    AL: Well, for me it’s mysterious and unexplainable. I think many religions have tried to explain too much. I am afraid of the word sublime—for the artist it does not consciously exist—it can only be an unacknowledged aspiration of his inner being. There is a thirst for the sublime that, in my opinion, is closer to that tradition, which involved a relationship with God, with no intermediaries. I think an artist needs this.

    Bomb 16/Summer 1986

  • 
And the veil is an incredibly powerful icon in the way it empowers a woman sexually. It’s supposed to be doing the opposite, but as you can tell, through a mere gaze the woman can excite men.
—Shirin Neshat, BOMB 73/Fall 2000

    And the veil is an incredibly powerful icon in the way it empowers a woman sexually. It’s supposed to be doing the opposite, but as you can tell, through a mere gaze the woman can excite men.

    —Shirin Neshat, BOMB 73/Fall 2000

  • 
Bette Gordon:  What is evil for you?Barbet Schroeder: It’s totally vague, totally abstract, I don’t know myself what evil is, but I know it’s floating around somewhere and especially in this movie. But I can’t pinpoint it. I can’t say who’s evil. I just know there’s the possibility of something evil, let’s put it that way.BG: Not evil in the sense of the devil, not religious evil?BS: If you go to the very end of the notion of evil you end up asking a religious question. You want to know, who’s the fucker who created humanity. You want to strangle him.
—BOMB 32/Summer 1990

    Bette Gordon:  What is evil for you?

    Barbet Schroeder: It’s totally vague, totally abstract, I don’t know myself what evil is, but I know it’s floating around somewhere and especially in this movie. But I can’t pinpoint it. I can’t say who’s evil. I just know there’s the possibility of something evil, let’s put it that way.

    BG: Not evil in the sense of the devil, not religious evil?

    BS: If you go to the very end of the notion of evil you end up asking a religious question. You want to know, who’s the fucker who created humanity. You want to strangle him.

    BOMB 32/Summer 1990

  • 
Bette Gordon: How did you find Brad Pitt, he was unknown at the time?
Tom Dicillo: Yes. I thought I was going to be able to cast this part in New York because it’s a New York story. But everybody had gone to L.A., so we had to go out to L.A. My casting director, Marsha Shulman, organized hundreds of actors for the audition, all these quote “great, hot, L.A. actors.” So here comes this guy, Brad Pitt. I wanted Johnny to be a loner from America, like John Voight from Midnight Cowboy. I took a lot from that character, that innocence, the guy who thinks he’s gonna come to New York and be the hottest stud. And he’s dressed like that cowboy. There’s something so beautiful about that.
BG: Slightly off, but beautifully off.
TD: Exactly. So Brad came in and he’s got that somewhere in America quality. He did this speech about Suede. The other actors didn’t see the irony, they played the male fucked-upness as if it was supposed to be cool; no fear, no little twist. Brad was the only one who got it.
—BOMB 39/Spring 1992

    Bette Gordon: How did you find Brad Pitt, he was unknown at the time?

    Tom Dicillo: Yes. I thought I was going to be able to cast this part in New York because it’s a New York story. But everybody had gone to L.A., so we had to go out to L.A. My casting director, Marsha Shulman, organized hundreds of actors for the audition, all these quote “great, hot, L.A. actors.” So here comes this guy, Brad Pitt. I wanted Johnny to be a loner from America, like John Voight from Midnight Cowboy. I took a lot from that character, that innocence, the guy who thinks he’s gonna come to New York and be the hottest stud. And he’s dressed like that cowboy. There’s something so beautiful about that.

    BG: Slightly off, but beautifully off.

    TD: Exactly. So Brad came in and he’s got that somewhere in America quality. He did this speech about Suede. The other actors didn’t see the irony, they played the male fucked-upness as if it was supposed to be cool; no fear, no little twist. Brad was the only one who got it.

    BOMB 39/Spring 1992