The Ecstasy of Mark Leyner’s Influences
A list of Mark Leyner’s influences on his writing and his new novel The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, as discussed in his upcoming Believer interview with Brian Joseph Davis.
The Stand-up of Rodney Dangerfield
LEYNER: I was very interested when I started doing whatever you’d call what I do, in those elements that make cohesive a stand-up routine…It’s only the later style of comedy where there’s a naked lack of linkage but in an old Rodney Dangerfield routine it’s just bits linked by his animus towards his wife or mother-in-law—you know, hackneyed things that comedians hate now.
The Unfashionable Writing of Gilles DeLeuze
LEYNER: I have a new interest in things that people were sick of even in the 1970s—I’m an enormous Gilles DeLeuze fan.
The Iliad by Homer
LEYNER: When you read The Iliad now it’s not like you say, “I can’t wait to find out what happens to this Achilles guy.” Everyone knows. It’s in the introduction! So I wanted that to be part of the book, everyone knows,
The Animation of Chuck Jones
LEYNER: If you asked me what I thought was a great example of American surrealism I would say Chuck Jones.
The History of Surrealism by Marcel Nadeau
LEYNER: Anyway, every page of the Nadeau book is about how serious this endeavor is. How exhilarating a leap into an unknown world the artists’ work is for a human being to have access to now and then. So it’s a very genuine, authentic, ridiculously grand project that I feel myself part of.
Rolling Stone Magazine Interviews
LEYNER: When I was 15 or 16 I was into those long, twenty-page Rolling Stone interviews…I had this idea at the high school newspaper that we should do these big long interviews with just us. I don’t think I’m so terribly prescient but it really was an embryonic impulse towards what we see everywhere now where it’s almost, you know, enough!
The Life of Raymond Roussel
LEYNER: He believed his writing created a kind of refulgence, a kind of light. And when he would write he would shutter up the room he was writing in so that the light wouldn’t disturb the people on the streets of Paris. Like they’d see this bizarre light flooding out and it would create a panic. So there are sometimes disproportionate feelings of importance.