Open Letters Monthly interviews Sarah Goldstein and features Sarah’s art.
When I first started writing I was creating fairly abstracted works that in many ways reminded me of my artwork: they were often pieced together and the result of reworking fragments from larger chunks of text, and this gave them a sense of the unexpected juxtaposition (at least to me!). Over time I wanted to try to evolve a bit and challenge myself; also, my tastes changed I think. I really did want to use Grimm’s fairy tales as a starting point for some of the Fables, and so I deliberately tried to ground them and give them a sense of specificity (even if it’s not always a recognizable time and place) rather than have them “float” (to use your excellent description) in an abstracted way. I was also trying to simplify my writing … and I know that sounds strange, but it was almost an exercise: how compact can I make this piece of writing? How much can I get across in one paragraph? In just a few sentences?