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Andrei Codrescu Biography - Andrei Condrescu Comments:

novel orleans changed

(2000) There were always so many things that didn't fit in my poems or essays: recipes, overheard conversations, intricate means of disposing of mean people, crushes on out-of-bounds women, and, above all, a sense of the passing of time. The capacious form of the novel could, it seemed to me, accommodate all those things and some. When I started writing one, I discovered that I was a good storyteller and that, in fact, the form was even more amazing, that it was a machine capable of activating myths and rituals and changing the status quo. After reading Messiah, a friend said, "I can't look at New Orleans the same way anymore. It's been changed." I have also changed some peoples' memory cassettes: they now remember their novelistic representations better than the experiences they were based on. The novel is not exhausted, though the purveyors of the faux-memoir and psychological realism have done their best to run it into the ground. A squad of imaginative rescuers steeped in outrageous magic (such as the city of New Orleans) are getting it putt-putting again.

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