“I want you. I want your sleepy confused look when you wake up. I want to be the warmth that fills the space in your bed. I want to be the sheets your fingers crave at night; the blanket that wraps around you all night. I want to drink tea with you, share some records we find. I want to talk about everything in the world newspapers. I want to discuss with you, to be stubborn and quick-witted with you. I want to have differences between us. I want your flaws. All of them. I want go into the deepest corners of your mind and never get bored of you. I want to be surprised by the new all the time. I want to look at you like a movie, a living piece of art; always trying to chase what you crave … and capture you.”—Elay Neal Moses (via muttermanor)
The Atlantic:It sounds like you're saying that literary "talent" doesn't inoculate a writer—especially a male writer—from making gross, false misjudgments about gender. You'd think being a great writer would give you empathy and the ability to understand people who are unlike you—whether we're talking about gender or another category. But that doesn't seem to be the case.
Junot Diaz:I think that unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations. Without fail. The only way not to do them is to admit to yourself [that] you're fucked up, admit to yourself that you're not good at this shit, and to be conscious in the way that you create these characters. It's so funny what people call inspiration. I have so many young writers who're like, "Well I was inspired. This was my story." And I'm like, "OK. Sir, your inspiration for your stories is like every other male's inspiration for their stories: that the female is only in there to provide sexual service." There comes a time when this mythical inspiration is exposed for doing exactly what it's truthfully doing: to underscore and reinforce cultural structures, or I'd say, cultural asymmetry.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when some of my fellow immigrants of African descent use their experiences to try and invalidate the systemic and institutionalized racism that Black Americans face in the United States. I will still…