THC: Who are your greatest influences, at Harvard and in the larger artistic world?
ERC: Watching my visual artist friends develop their critical and intuitive faculties has been fascinating. I love the way visual artists think. The philosophical and political questions are different, and even when they’re not, they ask questions with a different attitude. They are encouraged to be irreverent. They also know how to throw a good party. They have to practice for being out in the art world.
ERC: Greatest artistic rival at Harvard?
Norman Mailer [’43].
THC: How do you think you’ll look back on your college work?
ERC: Even things from a few months ago are a little embarrassing. I think that’s a common problem. College has given me four years to make mistakes with my work, to build my taste, and to move towards a politics for my writing. Now I am excited to focus on a longer project. My friend Tess writes long fiction stories, and is doing a tremendous amount with them, and still they’re not anywhere near the size of a novel. I was editing one of them a few weeks ago, and I thought, this length feels very luxurious.
THC: What is the funniest/strangest arts event you’ve been involved in?
ERC: Earlier this year, I got to tell [writer Joan] Didion, “You are chic.” For me, that was an event.