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Craig Nova, The Geek

Charles Ruas interviews American author, Craig Nova, in 1975, about his recently published book. In his second novel, The Geek, the writer calls an end to traditional, adversely psychologically driven fiction. A book about a man who entertains people at his own expense, Nova examines the idea of having the audience connect to a character that is subjected to constant degradation as a way to craft a new sort of myth. He criticizes contemporary writing; claiming that authors fail to use the psyche of a character as a means to provide insight into events. To that end, he invites the idea that the landscape can also be understood as a character; causing the book itself to become a “paranoid personality, where everything is important.” Through the use of language and environment The Geek becomes a manifestation of literary claustrophobia. Adversely, however, it is also a source of jest and carnival, opium, and a play on cross cultural examination.

A California native, Craig Nova (b.1945) is a novelist and short story writer best known for his works having been thematically linked. A graduate of Columbia University's MFA writing program, in 1969, The Geek was his second book and a contemplative continuation of his debut publication, Turkey Hash. Nova has since been awarded with the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, Harper-Saxton Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2005 he was recognized as with the Class of 1949 Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, of which his is currently a professor.

The Geek was illustrated by Brad Holland.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.