Gabriel Blackwell (fiction, ’09) recently spoke with Vol. 1 Brooklyn as part of their “Between Books” interview series.
It started with a cover: a familiar detective-novel image slowly bleeding into the abstract. This was my first encounter with the work of Portland’s Gabriel Blackwell: picking up a copy of his Shadow Man after hearing good things about some then-recent readings he’d given in NYC. Subtitled “A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer,” Blackwell’s book creates a narrative out of the spaces in which noir‘s chroniclers and its characters overlap: a dense, thrilling work with hints of abused power and still-buried secrets. His collection Critique of Pure Reason contained work that bent the lines between fiction, history, and (at times) criticism; it’s nearly impossible to describe, but never less than compelling. I checked in with Blackwell to discuss his methods, his inspiration, and what works and histories might inspire his future projects. (Hint: one Howard Phillips Lovecraft makes an appearance, as does a certain storied British filmmaker.)