New Interview: My Eschatology

Thanks to Charles Dodd White for the interview with me on his site.  His blog is described as promoting the literature of the New South, which doesn’t quite describe me.  I’m New York born, Los Angeles raised, and live in L.A., but the bulk of the research and the early writing for this novel was done in Wilmington, North Carolina.  It’s even referenced in the book – the writer talks about moving to Willamette, South Carolina (doesn’t exist, so far as I know) and beginning work on a book.  The introduction to the novel is pretty accurate about what my life was like in North Carolina.  Post 9-11, I moved there with my then girlfriend and we conceived our child.  Me, having terror dreams about planes crashing almost nightly – a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing 9-11 while living in downtown NYC.  For the years we lived in North Carolina, I basically lived at the New Hanover Public Library, reading every book they had on fringe/freak ideas, ordering some others from far-off libraries. I was obsessed. Check out the interview for more about that period of my life.

I also mention how I’m starting at a loss:

Not only am I writing about fringe subjects that people don’t take seriously, I’m using a publishing platform that people don’t always take seriously.

Which is sort of the point: using a fringle platform to write about fringe ideas.  I want to get these ideas out there – I think they’re important – even if it means having to give it away.  Then again, if I was published by a Big Publisher, it would be much easier to unload books.  I wonder, though, if I would feel the same kind of freedom with the music I’m recording if I was accountable to a mainstream publisher.

While I’m here, here’s a piece from me about the self-publishing movement I wrote recently for 3:AM Magazine.

One Response

  1. RW Hedges says:

    Very interesting!!
    I had no Idea Henry was witness to the two tower nightmare. I myself was about to be sacked from HMV(Greater London) for taping the bonus tracks at the end of the La’s album. As the towers collapsed I felt bowel movement and the end of a world as Henry puts it. Un-real. Like Hollywood!!
    What Henry talks about here in terms of self publishing and being outside of the bubble of tawdry western popular culture rings so true in the arts in general and we English are victim to it also.
    “Maybe if you had the ears for me now, I would be having a melody drought”
    Its a line I wrote yesterday (not great) but its trying to say that there is a hidden strength behind self publishing, self belief and being in control of your own art and destiny.You actually end up the better artist for it! We forget that Kafka slaved away in an office and Philip Larkin plodded around a Library whilst Miller had to steal to keep his dream alive. Henry(Baum), to me is a Norman Mailer, with his first two books, that deals a solid belly blow to that American dream of dreams. His voice grates with our world because to fit here you have to be horrid and vapid (in my eyes) and a coward to accept it….. As a songwriter I feel it is the same boat we take. Thats why being an agnostic and keeping an open view of these esoteric, afterlife possibilities are so interesting to those of us who live outside of the coca caca day to day lie….
    The symbols on the cover of Henrys new book remind me of Carl Jungs “Man and his Symbols” and I think Henry is tapping into the things that really make us tick inside, which is an heroic feat that he deserves giant praise for(Ok i’m yet to read the book but his other works blew my mind and inspired no end)……
    Very filmic too so dont be surprised if we see Baum movies in the future. They would be a great part of the deconstruction of the Hollywood we so long to lose over the one we’d like back.
    RW Hedges

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