Elif Batuman Interviewed at The White Review
I wanted to write about that feeling of external lives not holding up and making a story. In a way I was thinking of specific stories, but in a way I just meant ‘storyness’. One of the parts of the spiel that I’ve been going around saying is that the novel is a synthesis between pre-existing narratives and the open-ended, unprocessable data dump of experience and that it’s a constant negotiation between those things. I think Selin is looking for a story to tell about herself — it’s not as clear as Don Quixote wants to be a knight in a story, or Madame Bovary wants to be the heroine of a romance. It’s not clear that there’s one kind of story that she wants to be in.