Good interview. Includes spoilers for Infinite Detail, and aside from the quotes below it’s mostly of interest if you follow Maughan or want to know some of the thinking behind his book and other writings.
The idea that everything is tedious, even when everything is happening at the same time. That something can happen that’s completely shocking, but at the same time you’re not surprised at all. Not so much future-shock as present-resignation. […]
It’s just another example of sitting around waiting for some massive collapse to come, while being resigned to and bored by how terrible it’ll be. […]
[T]hat dislocation and alienation within your own home space is a key thread to my fiction, I think, because it’s such a defining quality of 21st century urban life. I spent 5 years living in Brooklyn, where it was happening right in front of your eyes, but honestly I see the same thing everywhere I go now. […]
Real people don’t have character arcs, or simple motivations, or background stories to be revealed in a prequel - those things are inventions of the entertainment industry. They’re marketable tropes. Real people are far more nebulous, complicated, they live far more in the moment and without definable meaning.