Aesthetic or Ethical? Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Listen here: https://longform.org/posts/longform-podcast-297-elif-batuman

Today I walked around with Elif Batuman’s thoughts running through my head. Yesterday I shivered, chuckled, and smiled my way through Elif’s interview on the Longform Podcast (subscribe, really, you won’t regret it) and today I walked around thinking about the blurry boundaries between two perpendicular concepts, fiction and non-fiction and aesthetic and ethical. I say perpendicular for a reason. I think that these spectrums intersect, but they’re not always intersected. I barely even know how to describe this right now, so I’m going to walk home from the pub and listen to this interview for the second time. When I get home, I’m going to pause the episode, call home for a chat with my roommates in London, Ontario and then go to bed. In the morning, I’m going to restart the episode for the third time and take some notes. Maybe I’ll have something brilliant to say about it. For now, I’m just going to say that I’m curious about blurring these lines. I can’t say that I’ve ever thought about there being anything other than inherit and profound differences between aesthetic and ethical and fiction and non-fiction. What does it even mean to blur these lines?

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