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To what extent does anybody control his destiny? Life is very much like falling off the edge of a cliff. You have complete freedom to make all the choices you want to take on your way down.

 

I think I’m controversial among some of the people in Israel and accepted by others, but the same can also be said for evolutionary theory.

 

For me, the term "writing routine" sounds like an oxymoron. It is a bit like saying "having-a-once-in-a-lifetime-insight-which-makes-you-want-to burst-into-tears routine." There has never been anything routine-like about writing for me.

 

I believe that there is a truth. I believe it is very difficult to articulate that truth. I try to go in that direction, but I don’t pretend I will get there.

 
 

"One of the funniest stories in Keret's new collection is "Actually, I've Had Some Phenomenal Hard-Ons Lately", about a businessman who's having an affair with a colleague. The thing that satisfies the man most about this arrangement is that, when he takes his mistress for a "candlelit dinner", the cost is tax-deductible. Keret says the story was triggered by overhearing someone use the title phrase in a cafe.

"It struck me as such an amazing sentence. What's interesting is the word 'actually' and the word 'hard-on' used together. Because there's something about 'hard-on' that's so primal, so instinctive, while 'actually' is such a meta, linguistic kind of word." The resulting story was a kind of imaginative working out of this clash. "The cheating is the 'hard-on' bit, while the tax is the 'actually'," he explains."

 
With Nathan Englander
 
 

My father said to me once, “In half of your stories the father character dies and in the other half he is just plain stupid, but in all of them I feel that you love me.” I think many stories say something that is more complex, ambiguous, and contradictory than just a clear, if coded, message.

I really don’t know if Maya has fallen out of love with her husband or is just afraid that she has, or, maybe, is actually afraid that her husband has stopped loving her. I don’t know that because Maya herself doesn’t. If she knew herself and her feelings so well, I believe she would have chosen a more pragmatic hobby than writing.

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