Interview: Sean Higgins

Sean Higgins consented to sit down for an impromptu interview. I liked it and so am posting it. It is not exhaustive. You may ask him more questions in the comments section if you want.


Question 1: What is your greatest fear?

I’ve never really thought about my greatest fear. I guess, that I will be in debt all my life. That maybe I will have taken a gamble on doing something that doesn’t really make any money, and then finding that I have to work a regular job anyway to support myself.

Or, moving around too much to find someone to stick with.

Also, jellyfish.

Ok, Question 2: Describe the best book in the world

A real book or an imaginary one?

Either, or both


I think there is probably a book that Nabokov would have written. Ada is pretty close.

I don’t know, it’s a tough one.

What makes ‘Ada’ nearly perfect?

I think it’s one of the few books I’ve ever read that doesn’t try to recreate the effects of memory simply by listing things that happened, but instead by creating the memories of the characters in reverse, always projected back from the present, always with a linguistic and sensory kernel. There are other books about this, naturally, but I think this one is underrated and deserves to be mentioned along with them. It’s a swooning, dreamy book about self-mythologization where all the characters are always their own myths. It can be sad, sometimes, but is always beautiful, playful, surprising, and graceful. No one writes about colors or women the way Nabokov does. A sensual writer with an intimidating brain and a big heart. It’s his favorite of his books, and probably my favorite of his, too.

Last 2 Questions: What’s so great about Maine? and: If you were a dead animal, what would you be?

On Maine:
Maple syrup, chickadees, the ocean, fire-truck red leaves in the fall, pine trees for the whole year, the unreal silence and the way the sky turns purple when it snows, riding your bike on empty roads in the summer, keeping your windows open on a hot summer night. Mostly, nature. I grew up near the ocean and need to live near it if I can. Also, there’s a bar near my house that has maybe 50 local beers on tap. It’s safe to walk around alone in the middle of the night. You can still go to a place where you can’t hear a single bit of evidence of another human being.

Dead Animal:
I would probably be, um, some sort of bird that tried to hide a shiny piece of electronic equipment but electrocuted itself instead. Hopefully a fast bird, though probably not one with a particularly impressive wingspan.


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June 2009
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