Author Q & A with Adam Graham
December 16, 2021
This week’s Author Q&A is with Adam Graham. Adam is a writer and artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. His work is rooted in the complexities and dynamics of relationships and explores issues of social class, identity, and the role language plays as both a force of connectivity and a force of disintegration. His flash fiction story “On Art, Authority, and Crows: A Modern Fable” appears in our latest issue of The Good Life Review.
We asked Adam to tell us some unique or surprising detail about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of his story.
His Response: “My process of writing is very much influenced by the cut-up techniques of the Dadaist. I begin each story by randomly selecting a smattering of texts and typing them into my document in no particular order. These random texts may be a sentence from a car insurance magazine, a phrase from an old song, the small print from a medicine commercial, that sort of thing. These segments of text, and the ideas they envelop, act as a series of sequential destinations my emerging story travels through as I write from one text to the next. This process demands a very open flow, in which free association between ideas is paramount.
“At the end of the process, I extract the originating found texts, and what remains are bizarre little tinkering literary machines that buzz across a table-top for a few minutes. Because of the extraction of the originating texts, there are “gaps” in my stories, openings built into the very foundations of the stories, missing places in the boundary the delineates the story at its very core. These openings in the story allow things to drift in and out, to cross the border of the story, it opens up the circuitry of the literary machines.
“The found texts I used for the current story, On Art, Authority, and Crows: A Modern Fable, come from the Time-Life Library of Art, a series of biographies of various artists in history. The set of twenty-eight books was published in the 1960s.”
The other question that Adam elected to answer is what he thinks of when he hears the phrase “The Good Life?”
Adam’s Response: “To me, the “good life” consists of artistic experimentation, of having the courage to think dangerously, of making time to build new concepts in one’s own head, and then to bring these new ideas into the world via the written word, maybe in the form of a short story, or maybe a poem, or maybe even a single sentence smudged on the bathroom mirror. I find I feel most alive when a new idea is wriggling through my mind, slowly taking form as the flotsam and jetsam of thoughts, experience, random bits of psychological association stick to the bourgeoning form crawling out of my head.”
Thanks, Adam, for being a part of our autumn issue and for participating in this Q & A!
~The Good Life Review Team