Thursday, June 29, 2006

A vast and wondrous estate

Matt Borondy interviews Toni Schlesinger at the identity theory website about her remarkable book Five Flights Up and Other New York Apartment Stories. Here's Toni on living in New York:

On the most basic level, I love the continuous action of New York. The same way I love being in a dark theater space, a film, a casino, a newsroom. Nothing stops, nothing ends, nothing dies. I love the celebration of artificial life that is implicit in cities, all human-made.

On the most personal level—my life is not about family or houses with kitchens. I am interested only in reading and writing and performing and talking with others who do the same.


On the other hand, I don't know if I really care where I live. It is about who one talks to, what one reads, writes, creates. Whenever I have felt homeless, it had to do with feeling thrown out of my work for a moment. I have only realized that in recent years. But I feel as if I am living on a vast and wondrous estate when my work is going well and I am immersed in this or that story. I am working on a very strange story that happened in New York which will be a book. I spend days reading about a certain street and how they sold spyglasses on the street and there used to be pirates and I go there constantly in my mind. I am also working on a film about a small-town murder. There is a 1920s Tudor house in the story, and that in a way has become my home, in which I wander through the rooms thinking about this and that and all the secrets up the stairs.


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  2. I love the continuous action of NY too, its amazing. Let me tell you this you're right it does matter more who you talk to, what you read, write and create. However, your surroundings impact these factors. In the past 3 years ive lived in 5 different countries and there is a change in all of those things as your surroundings change. This post really makes me think. Thank you