The Paris Review ist eine legendäre Literaturzeitschrift aus New York und vor allem für ihre langen, ausführlichen Interviews mit Schriftstellern bekannt. Und die haben jetzt ihr Archiv online gestellt, auf den ersten Blick für mich interessant sind die Gespräche mit Stephen King, Umberto Eco, Ray Bradbury, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Aldous Huxley und Jack Kerouac und das waren dann nur die, die hier ins Blog passen. Eine einzige Interview-Schatztruhe.
Und dann hätten sie noch dieses recht neue Interview mit Robert Crumb, geführt anlässlich der Veröffentlichung seiner Genesis. Wer seine Bibel-Interpretation kennt, kann das erste Viertel des Interviews überspringen, danach wird es aber superspannend, wenn er von Comics seiner Kindheit erzählt, die Einflüsse der Beatnik und schließlich davon, welchen Einfluss LSD auf seine Arbeit gehabt hat.
So how did you finally find publication?
Well, the hippie revolution happened. In 1964 I first got laid, I met my first wife, Dana, and all these protohippies in Cleveland. A lot of them were Jews from Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights. They started taking LSD and urged me to try it, so Dana got some LSD from a psychiatrist, it was still legal in ’65. We took it and that was totally a road-to-Damascus experience. It knocked you off your horse, taking LSD. I remember going to work that Monday, after taking LSD on Saturday, and it just seemed like a cardboard reality. It didn’t seem real to me anymore. Seemed completely fake, only a paper-moon kind of world. My coworkers, they were like, Crumb, what’s the matter with you, what happened to you? Because I was just staring at everything like I had never seen it before. And then it changed the whole direction of my artwork. Other people who had taken LSD understood right away what was going on, but the people who hadn’t, my coworkers, they didn’t get it.
How did it change your artwork?
I had been working along in this modern adult cartoon trend, very influenced by the modern, expressionistic, arty quality of work by Jules Feiffer, Ronald Searle, Ralph Steadman. Then, on LSD, I got flung back into this cruder forties style, that suddenly became very powerful to me. It was a kind of grotesque interpretation of this forties thing, Popeye kind of stuff. I started drawing like that again. It was bizarre to people who had known my work before.