I saw Stephen King tonight @ City Arts and Lectures. He’s pretty much like my favorite writer in the whole world, so the bottom line is that I was pretty fucking stoked to see him. He didn’t disappoint; he said pretty much everything I wanted to hear and then a little bit more. For you high art motherfuckers that don’t read genre fiction: he told this story tonight about how some lady accosted him in the aisle of a supermarket in Florida and said, “I know who you are–you write those horror things.” and went on to say “you should write something nice, something like the Shawshank Redemption.” And she didn’t believe him when he responded that he did, in fact, write the Shawshank Redeption. I don’t know why I had to tell you guys that–I guess it’s just a funny story.
He’s really straightforward and unpretentious about writing. Literary magazines go on the bottom shelf at the bookstore under the title “Shit Nobody Reads” and the only people who buy them are people who would like to be published in them. He said some nice things about McSweeney’s but pretty much said that short stories were a sickly thing these days, which I guess he would know because he is currently editing the next installment of the best american short stories. The current state of short stories may or may not be big news to you–you probably don’t really give a fuck–but for me it was just nice to hear. I think that has something to do with why he’s up there on my favorite writers list; he can tell me the shit that seems like it was obvious and always there but that I had never actually heard anyone say.
Anyway–you can hear it all on the radio at some point, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play. But here’s a crappy, half-assed picture to go with my crappy half-assed post.
Back row, motherfucker.
Most City Arts & Lectures programs can be heard in edited and delayed broadcasts in the San Francisco Bay Area on KQED-FM (88.5) on Sundays at 1 pm, Tuesday evenings at 8 pm, and Wednesday mornings at 3 am.
12/31/06 (Sunday) Stephen King