Powell & Barthelme

Padgett Powell on Donald Barthelme, his former writing instructor and friend:

We had similar tastes. We liked the same things, the same bars, the same books, the same women. The only thing we differed on was music. I only like rock and roll. He always wanted to talk about jazz. He really wasn’t so much a writer as a jazz painter on the page.

(From an old New York Times interview.)

Words from Barthelme used as an epigraph in Powell’s Typical, a short story collection:

Truth is greatly overrated, volition where it exists must be protected, wanting itself can be obliterated, some people have forgotten how to want.


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