here are the ‘questions’:
1) where are you answering these ‘questions’? what are your ‘surroundings’ like?
I spent the last week in toronto and got back home a few hours ago. I slept maybe four hours last night and rideshared for several hours today and the rideshare was brutal and I wanted to attack most people in the van but felt too exhausted for that and kept imagining myself falling asleep in the van and then mumbling, ‘I am going to murder all of you for a very long time’ in my sleep.
2) do you consider yourself part of alt lit? do you like alt lit? are you confused about what alt lit ‘is’?
I think of alt lit as a community, like a kind of very large online guild that’s questing on facebook trying to gain enough experience points to slay some sort of level fifty internet meme or something. my book is weird in that it’s both ‘online literature’ and ‘canadian literature.’ it was released by a publishing house that’s not well-established as a literary press, which makes it harder to be reviewed or covered by traditional lit outlets, and so there’s a lot of people in canadian literature that might like it but still haven’t heard of it. so far, alt lit/social media/the web is really what’s been driving my book and giving it momentum and stuff, and the support online allows me to do very interesting things with it, like this week I got to showcase my book in toronto to a completely different audience, one that might think it’s weird that I am reading poems from my phone instead of from a book or that I am reading tweets at a reading. I like both online literature and ‘traditional’ literature, and part of me wants those spaces to collide head-on, like I’d love to read a mira gonzalez poem at an experimental poetry reading, just to see what happens.
3) I AM ALT LIT gave ‘i am my own betrayal’ a 100.0. do you agree or disagree with this score?
thank you for reading my book and reviewing it and being kind to me. every review/blog post/mention counts and gives me more latitude to do bigger/better things, both online and in real life. your review in particular was very helpful.
4) what do you think I AM ALT LIT should review next? (yours or soemthing else)
next issue of shabby doll house, my friend kristina submitted, I would be interested in reading what the internet thinks of my friend kristina.
5) do you want to be ‘successful’ in writing? or do you ‘not care’?
what I want the most is to destroy myself for literature. that probably sounds heavy or insane or melodramatic, but what I mean by that is that my life is stupid, like I seriously can’t see myself having babies and getting married and finding solace and meaning in my daily whatever. what I want is to use literature as a kind of death drive, give a shape to my shit-talking, my inner monologue, neuroses, failures, shortcomings, feelings, contradictions, life experiences both good and bad, etc, and use all of those without thinking things like, ‘what will people think of me.’ I kind of want to make fun of myself in a way that’s reckless and borderline irresponsible, but also entertaining/pleasurable for a person to pick up and read. I am hoping that makes sense, not 100% sure it does.
6) seems like alt lit rlly has a ‘foothold’ in Canada ie a greater ‘proportion’ of Canadians compared to overall ‘pop size’ seem to be ‘really’ into alt lit—mebbe even more than laos // tho im not sure
just imagined in my head mark medley of the national post reviewing a novella by andrea coates and a short story collection by dave shaw and a poetry collection by ashley opheim and liking all those books and recommending all those books and now I feel like this should happen in maybe 2014, in a world where songs by grimes are used as background music in shampoo commercials.
7) seems like you do ‘charts’ & ‘infographs’ — are you skilled at photoshop ??? are you skilled at illustrator ??? what is the ‘inspiration’ for these charts ???
I used to work as a videogame designer. I made flow charts and game design documents and powerpoints and things. charts were always really funny to me, like they’re so serious and abstract and rarely reveal anything about the person who made it. in august 2011, I decided to quit my job to focus on literature. I felt strongly that I should have a ‘visual’ identity on social media, like I think of text content and visual content as two different kinds of currencies online. when I started making charts for myself, a vague goal in my head was to make them, ‘personal’ instead of, ‘professional,’ like I wanted them to be kind of like my poems, weird and subjective and emotional and only somewhat appropriate to show other human beings.
8) what did or what will you have for lunch? how did you ‘choose’
oatmeal on the go cereal bar, felt like a normal cereal bar, kept thinking, ‘I don’t want this to be the future of oatmeal’ while eating it.
9) what was the last book/movie/ or ‘internet video’ you read/watched? what was your opinion of it?
I am reading, ‘summer of hate’ by chris kraus, ‘cosmo’ by spencer gordon and ‘dora’ by lidia yuknavitch. just started all three, haven’t thought anything about them yet, might post a webcam photo of myself holding her book on lidia yuknavitch’s wall.
10) do you have a ‘day job’?
I am a full-time student right now. I had a well-paid job for a while and was able to save money and now I am using the money to finish my creative writing degree + write a novel and the novel is terrifying to write because what if I can’t finish it, what if it’s just ‘decent,’ what if I am still writing it at this time of the year next year, what do I know about writing again, why do I increasingly want to crawl into the space between the toilet and the bathroom wall and just hide there for a while and feel safe.
11) when you think of ‘alt lit’ what works/pieces do you usually ‘think’ of ?
not sure if it’s ‘usually,’ but I want to think of books by writers in the alt lit community that don’t exist right now but will exist in the future and be meaningful and find an audience beyond, ‘alt lit,’ like some sort of poetry collection by stacey teague published in the year 2019 and titled, ‘during my nervous breakdown I want to be broadcasting on tinychat.
12) what else should i ask about?
13) please write some words about yrslf that could function as a ‘bio’.
guillaume morissette is the author of, ‘I am my own betrayal,’ a collection of stories and poems published by maison kasini earlier this year. topics explored include anxiety, email relationships, owl people, awkwardness, videogames, facebook, shortcomings, groundhogs and terrible personal decisions. he lives in montreal and co-curates a party reading series called, ‘this is happening whether you like it or not.’