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by Jenni Baker

Interrogations (I)



What do you mean, inevitable? What do you mean, experiment? Have you had the 
experience of finding? Do you feel that you may have overextended yourself in any of 
these areas? 

In view of the experience you had, the brouhaha, the interpretations and the rest of it, do 
you emerge in any terribly different way? What did you make of discovery, of dilemma? 
How long does reflection go on? 

Do whole scenes evolve in your mind, or is the process so deep in your subconscious that 
you're hardly aware of what's going on? When you start, do you move steadily, doing one 
scene, then another? Is there a conscious building? 

Do you end by accepting, which must also be something of a revelation to you?


Language adapted from "Edward Albee, The Art of Theater No. 4." Interview by William Flanagan. Paris Review. Fall 1966.

Interrogations (III)


Can you remember when you first felt compelled to commit action? What shifted? 

Did winning have a kind of effect? Was it immediately apparent that it was changing 
your life? You said you think of yourself as evil?

Can we discuss the fragment? A kind of ecstasy that arises from self-annihilation?  Is that 
a way of trying to punch windows in the walls of the self? Is it stymied because of the 
nature of the beast? Is that what you were up to? 

Does the anxiety make you anxious? Does that seem right to you? 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Language adapted from "Anne Carson, The Art of Poetry No. 88." Interview by Will Aitken. Paris Review. Fall 2004.

Interrogations (IV)


Is it more difficult for women? How do the activities differ for you? Is there anything 
unique? Has survival always been intrinsic?

Do you ever feel struck by the limitations of language? Is sex easy? Has motherhood 
made you feel differently about yourself? Why is there so much violence?

Do you see any other way? Have you always seen things in such sharp economic terms? 
Have you always questioned institutions?  

Can you look over your past with pleasure? Would you change it if you had the chance?

Language adapted from "Margaret Atwood, The Art of Fiction No. 121." Interview by Mary Morris. Paris Review. Winter 1990.

Jenni B. Baker's Oulipo-­inspired chapbook, Comings/Goings, was released by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. She spends most of her poetry hours on Erasing Infinite, where she creates erasures from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, one page at a time.

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