"We didn't want to write what we called Englit-fic: the styles and themes of which came out of universities in sad imitation of the great modernists. We wanted to write something that had the vitality of good commercial fiction and the subtle ambition of good literary fiction, reflecting the sensibilities and events of our times: stuff that would get us high with the sense of engagement of Proust or Faulkner but with the disciplined vitality of genre fiction pulsing from every page.
A few of us talked about a 'two-way street' to reunite junk, middlebrow and highbrow fiction. Some people out there had to be as frustrated as us, dissatisfied by pretty much everything on offer, literary or commercial. For ages people had discussed the 'two cultures'. We might just be the guys to unite them: writing for a reader who knew a bit about poetry, painting and physics, enjoyed Gerald Kersh, Elizabeth Bowen and Mervyn Peake, merging realism with grotesquerie and doing it elegantly, eloquently."
There's a repeat of the old maxim in here - something once relayed from Kubrick to Stephen King during their only pre-production phone call regarding "The Shining" - about the essential optimism of ghost stories.
I pitched and wrote a nice piece for our Saturday magazine about the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Finished "Labyrinths", and Michael Swanwick's "The Dragons of Babel" (on the evidence of this he's the Armistead Maupin of the fantasy genre) reading "The Interpretation of Dreams."