A Drinking Life

Seattle’s new Words & Wine series still has a few kinks to work out, says Paul Constant, reporting on its Ethan Canin event in the Stranger: “Canin’s new novel is America America, so someone had decided that the thing to play was Neil Diamond’s ‘America.'” But cocktails do open an author up:

He talked at length about his career as a doctor, mentioning, for example, that “the only time I ever got sued” was a result of attempting to treat a gunshot victim, adding cryptically that “finding an entry wound is much harder than finding the exit wound.” He told aspiring authors to relax and let the subtext of their books remain in the unconscious and not to overanalyze: “Symbols are not symbols because Harold Bloom says they’re symbols.” He reflected on the positive side of America’s possible impending demise as a global superpower. It might be true that we won’t be the wealthiest people in the world, but on the other hand, “it could be a good thing. Italians don’t have to worry about their place in the world anymore, and they seem pretty relaxed.”

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