Mark Haskell Smith is the author of five novels, Moist, Delicious, Salty, Baked, and Raw: A Love Story, as well as the non-fiction book Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup.
From his Q & A with Anthony Miller in Los Angeles magazine:
Your book [Raw: A Love Story] stages a collision between reality television and literary culture. Why those two worlds?Smith is the author of five novels, Moist, Delicious, Salty, Baked, and Raw: A Love Story, as well as the non-fiction book Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup.
I wanted the stupidest thing I could find in our culture, which I think is reality TV, particularly as shown by the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Last night, I watched Snooki and JWoww; it’s so deeply stupid. And also the highest or at least the most pretentious culture we have. Film culture is pretentious but not in the way that book culture is. I thought that was a natural high-low, opposites-attract kind of thing. I have an affection for both those worlds and that’s why I wanted to play with them.
What makes book culture more pretentious than film culture?
It’s not all of book culture. It’s just the way some people are about it. For me, the novel is the height of human creativity. You’re putting your ideas into a format that when someone experiences it by reading it, it’s a really intimate act. It’s an amazing art form but the way people treat it becomes precious. I wanted to take a poke at these people who are book fans. They’re not unintelligent people but they start a literary blog and all of the sudden they’re “experts” and they’re holding other writers to ridiculously high standards. It’s all about their ego and not about the book. I saw...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Salty.
My Book, The Movie: Salty.
Writers Read: Mark Haskell Smith.