Today I read:
Ben Marcus was another professor who . . . was just able to magnetize in this wordless way—it had less to do with what he said and more to do with his presence, which was this strange ingot that drew everybody’s best work out of them somehow. But he did say—and this was such a simple thing—he said, ‘I think one thing you should remember about your work is that blue doesn’t stand out on blue.’ We were just talking about the relationship of some fantastic elements to the naturalistic elements in a story. So that sounds kind of goofy I guess, but it made me more conscious of the way contrasts were working, on the level of the line but then also in the general parameters of a story. How to tell strange stuff in a matter-of-fact way and also where the ruptures were gonna be. You know, I just think it made me more awake as I was drafting, about some of those choices.
– Karen Russell, interviewed on Salon