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John Hawkes Novelist
John Clendennin Talbot Burne Hawkes, Jr. (1925-08-17)August 17, 1925 Stamford
John Hawkes, born John Clendennin Talbot Burne Hawkes, Jr. (August 17, 1925 - May 15, 1998), was a postmodern American novelist, known for the intensity of his work, which suspended some traditional constraints of narrative fiction.
Hawkes took inspiration from Vladimir Nabokov and considered himself a follower of the Russian-American translingual author. Nabokov's story "Signs and Symbols" was on the reading list for Hawkes' writing students at Brown University. "A writer who truly and greatly sustains us is Vladimir Nabokov," Hawkes stated in a 1964 interview.
"I began to write fiction on the assumption that the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme, and having once abandoned these familiar ways of thinking about fiction, totality of vision or structure was really all that remained."
"Like the poem, the experimental fiction is an exclamation of psychic materials which come to the writer all readily distorted, prefigured in that inner schism between the rational and the absurd."
"Everything I have written comes out of nightmare, out of the nightmare of war, I think."
"The writer should always serve as his own angleworm--and the sharper the barb with which he fishes himself out of blackness, the better."
^"John Hawkes: An Interview. 20 March 1964. John J. Enck and John Hawkes" Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 6.2 (summer 1965): 144; see also Maxim D. Shrayer, "Writing in Tongues," Brown Alumni Monthly September/October 2017; "Bez Nabokova" Snob.ru 2 July 2017.