"Lately I’ve been unwinding at the end of the night by watching tours of dead and dying shopping malls on YouTube. There are two basic types. The first explores a mall that is still open, though the end is evidently nigh — the retail equivalent of a sinking ship. Wings are shut down and cordoned off one by one, like gangrenous limbs. The doomed mall lapses into bleak absurdity, like a government office in the end stages of a failing regime. Lonesome holdouts go on peddling their wares, to virtually no one, amid boarded-up storefronts and signs advertising “retail opportunities.” In one video, a single clerk is seen operating a jewelry kiosk in an otherwise-deserted corridor."
Photo: Brian Ulrich
"We want this novel to be about us as we see ourselves. We want it to be about our current North American political situation. We want it to comport with our vision and desire. We want a stand-in for Trump. We want obvious references to the state of Western modernity as we think we experience it. But this novel is too close to us to reveal anything but the deepest ontological underpinnings of matter and being. It urges us to keep digging, holes within holes. It wants us to come to terms with our own dirt, the ash of our own lives. In the most direct terms, this novel is about a recovery of the transcendent sublime through the sacralization of the immanent. We want to see ourselves. We see through ourselves."