My model’s more the European

‘I write crime novels, so yes, of course I think of myself as a crime writer; how could I not? I also write poetry, and think of myself as a poet. And as a literary writer. A musicologist. A biographer. My model’s more the European – someone like [Raymond] Queneau, who wrote novels, poems, essays and popular songs, was a phenomenal editor… He didn’t have to check one or the other on his dance card. It’s the nature of creative work to push at boundaries. Only a fool would work within a tradition – any tradition, be it science fiction, the coming-of-age novel, the sonnet – without knowing and honoring that tradition, without having it coursing in his or her blood and breath.’

— James Sallis, in ‘American Noir and the Outlaw Lit of James Sallis’ by Lisa Levy


literature genre tradition james-sallis raymond-queneau