Jeremy Butman and Alphonso Lingis at The Believer:
THE BELIEVER: Your books combine elements of memoir, epistemological analysis, ontological meditation, anthropological observation, and plenty of other genres. They are usually written in the first person (singular or plural), and sometimes in the second person. How did you decide to adopt this freedom of style, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?
ALPHONSO LINGIS: Our thought arises in so many different events and [on so many] levels, and our discourse offers so many ways to formulate and communicate an insight. Ideally, the encounter and insight one seeks to share should induce the appropriate vocabulary, rhetoric, and explanation by means of narrative, exposition, or argument. I do not reflect about these and determine them separately. Often several versions are worked on until the right one becomes clear. It is important to me not to reflect much on why and how a given essay worked; it is important that it not become a template for subsequent essays. Hopefully the topic of the next essay will induce the right way to write to share the insight.