There will be an untold story containing details of trauma and growth and beauty and solitude
There will be an urge to build a vocabulary equivalent to the task of portraying all possible human outcomes
These two things will not align
They will become isolated origins for their self-preservation through obscure legacy
I first heard of Stephen Michael McDowell almost immediately after discovering the alt lit community, but it wasn’t until a friend passed me a copy of his 2012 novella treees that I realized the clarity and strength of his style. Comparisons to Tao Lin and other alt minimalists are inevitable, but reductive: McDowell’s voice is his own. But equally importantly, he’s been a consistent and beneficial presence in the alt lit community, providing a critically sharp but temperate and balanced voice in what can often be a volatile milieu. In March of 2012, he began curating/managing/editing the gallery/periodical/collective Mammal, and last week, Scott Krave (author of last year’s Bone Smoke) interviewed him about his motivations in doing so. The Flâneur is very pleased to present the conversation that ensued, in its unedited entirety. Enjoy.