WHAT TREES DO YOU PREFER IN THE CENTRE OF BOULEVARDS?
WHAT TYPE OF READING DO YOU DO ON TRAINS (OR AEROPLANES)?
On my next flight I’ll read E. M. Cioran’s A Short History of Decay (tr. Richard Howard). It’s good to read something with the sort of title that will deter conversation with fellow travelers.
WHAT BUTTERFLIES DO YOU THINK GIVE THE MOST SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCES?
Little white ones, little yellow ones.
WHAT MOVIE DO YOU WATCH IN SECRET?
None. That’s not how you watch movies.
WHAT LITERARY WORKS DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST UNDER-RATED?
WHAT COLOURS DO MOST FOR YOU AFTER SIX P.M.?
In the US Midwest, peak summer: there’s a particular kind of yellow-orange you get when a large cloud has blocked the sun. Winter: fresh snow white. Fall: violet. Spring: lime, almost neon, green.
WHAT ANIMALS DO YOU PREFER TO HUMAN BEINGS?
WHAT IS THE PRINCIPAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR STATE OF MIND (MOOD) WHEN READING FICTION AND YOUR MIND WHEN READING HISTORY?
There isn’t one.
CAN YOU HEAR ANYTHING IN A SEASHELL OTHER THAN THE ROAR OF THE OCEAN?
I’m not sure if I hear even the roar. I thought that was a myth?
WOULD WINGS BE AN IMPROVEMENT FOR THE HUMAN BODY?
Yes, in the sense that we would destroy ourselves more easily. No, in the sense that we would also destroy the rest of the world even more quickly than we already are.
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO MOST FREQUENTLY?
I usually listen to one song at a time, five at the most, on repeat. Right now the song is “Heaven or Las Vegas” by the Cocteau Twins. Other times I cannot tell you the song.
WHAT TWO HISTORICAL CHARACTERS WOULD YOU LIKE TO BRING TOGETHER?
Bring together to meet in person? I don’t think MLK Jr. and BR Ambedkar ever met each other in person; maybe they would’ve liked to.
WHAT ARTICLE OF CLOTHING DO YOU WISH TO BRING BACK FROM HISTORICAL OBSCURITY?
The Regency era cravat!
WHAT BUILDING DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD?
I don’t know but a bird probably built it.
WHAT SIZE CITY DO YOU THINK THE MOST DESIRABLE?
I like the size of all cities with good public transit options.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ESSENCE OF FEMININITY?
Probably just feeling/wanting to be feminine. Or empty and odorless like other “ities” until you dress it up how you want to.
WHAT WORK FROM A PREVIOUS CENTURY WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE WRITTEN?
The definitive recipe book of some cuisine or other.
WHAT FORM OF AFTER LIFE — IF ANY — DO YOU ANTICIPATE?
WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE USED AS A MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION IN OUR DOWNTOWN STREETS?
Many and festooned ants.
WHAT ARE THE MOST OVER-RATED LUXURIES?
WHAT IS THE ONE POEM OF WILLIAM BLAKE’S YOU WOULD PICK TO EMBLEMATIZE YOUR AESTHETIC PREFERENCES (AND, OF COURSE, WHY)?
“The Fly”! I can’t explain it better than the way “want” reads to me as both “lack” and “desire” in “If thought is life / And strength & breath: / And the want / Of thought is death;”
WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE ADDED TO THIS INTERVIEW?
What berry would you fill a bathtub with for the occasional berry bath?
Aditi Machado is almost certain she is the only person in the world with that name. Aditi Machado grows plants with names like little bluestem, rose milkweed, and purple kohlrabi. Aditi Machado is maybe obsessed with names. Aditi Machado’s books are called Some Beheadings, Emporium, and Prosopopoeia (this one’s a translation of a book by Farid Tali). Aditi Machado started a new notebook called “Wind.”