Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The late, great Spalding Grey, in conversation with Kate Miller:

KM: In Six Degrees of Separation, at the end of the movie the wife has a life-shattering epiphany that she has been turning the events in her life into anecdotes instead of using them to change her life. Do you ever feel you're anecdoting your life?

SG: Anecdoting is a defense and it's dangerous. I have to be careful with it. It's a hazard of my trade. I'm trying to work on that in therapy -- privatizing my life. I'm addicted to the joy of anecdote, the structure, the way it makes life feel cozy and meaningful. I think I experience more chaos than the average person, and this is why so many writers drink in the morning -- they're faced with the abyss. Everything is reaching out and strangling me. I think writers drink to shut down memory because memory is relentless. Everything I encounter during the day sets off associations about the past. It sets my mind going until my mind is in a painful place.

KM: Is there a certain religion you subscribe to?

SG: I'm a doubter.

KM: That's your religion? Doubt?

SG: I'm afraid it is. That and cocktail hour.

KM: There's a certain amount of spirituality in that.

SG: Yes, spirits.