May 17, 2010
Barry Gifford, author of Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, sat down with the Bat Segundo Show for an interview about Sailor Ripley, Lula Pace Fortune, violence, victims, the road and everything in between:
BARRY GIFFORD: The point is “Don’t be a victim.” I mean, I think I have another chapter somewhere that’s called “Victims.” But that’s always been another kind of thing that I could never abide. People who see themselves as victims. You know, with a capital V. And I just don’t like to be around people like this. People who complain all the time or are a victim or who feel that they’re a victim of their environment, their parents, their husband, their wife, their boyfriend, their girlfriend, God. Whatever it is that they want to call it. It’s convenient, isn’t it? It’s an easy way out. And in the case of the kids in Perdita Durango, they’re just kids. They were like dumb college kids. And here they were kidnapped for the purpose of human sacrifice. I mean, what a terrible thing? And Romeo and Perdita are certainly colorful characters, but malevolent ones. So they’re the natural contrast to Sailor and Lula.
SEGUNDO: But these two college kids. Did you really feel a good deal of fury or hatred towards them?
GIFFORD: No! No, I don’t feel any fury or hatred towards any of these characters. I mean, in one sense, yes, we’re all subject to all of the things that have come before, to our upbringing, and to all these things that I mentioned. The key is: How do you deal with them? How do you assert yourself? How do you retain some semblance of control over your own life?
… That’s what Perdita Durango is mainly about. Now nobody had a worse childhood than Perdita Durango. She’s definitely — if anybody could be called a victimized person. It laid out her life for her. And what does she try to do? She’s trying to control her own existence. She’s fighting for her life. And that’s the theme that I always felt with Perdita. I love Perdita. I mean, she’s crazy and she’s dangerous. But I love her.
Check out the full interview here — and for more on Barry Gifford and Sailor & Lula, check out the Powerhouse Arena tonight, featuring Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Miracle Jones from the Fiction Circus, and followed by a screening of the David Lynch film Wild at Heart — festivities start at 7 PM; please RSVP!