Books & Review
Updated: Jan 23, 2013 01:26 AM EST

Adam Mansbach

Adam Mansbach (Photo : official website)

In an interview published by Reuters, author Adam Mansbach talks about graffiti, critics and how he incorporates magical elements into his novel.

Author Adam Mansbach moves into the world of graffiti with his new book "Rage is Back" which was published earlier this month by Viking Adult. Talking about his new found interest in graffiti and what made him write a book on it, the author says he's always been into hip-hop while growing up and started his career as a deejay. He started writing about himself and soon found that many people found graffiti writers more interesting that the rest in the world of hip-hop. What made them all that interesting was the way in which they embodied a lot of interesting paradoxes to Mansbach. They balanced anonymity and fame with art and vandalism. He also wanted to do something as adventurous and unique as these writers and that's what caught his interest.

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Mansbach is aware that many people view graffiti not as art but vandalism. Giving his opinion on this topic he says, ""I think one of the central tensions is that it often is both, and being one doesn't prevent it from being the other. I think there's a lot of contradictions. ... You can put a naked woman in a dog collar selling vodka on New York City trains - that's fine - but what you can't put on those trains is anything resembling graffiti."

Mansback also states that cities that have legalized graffiti have enjoyed huge benefits from it. However, some writers do think that being a graffiti writer is all about "fighting the system" and "putting out illegal work." Nonetheless, there are currently many graffiti writers that do legal work and enjoy immense success.

The author reveals that he likes incorporating magical elements into his novel so as to compare magic with the "context of contemporary New York City." He says magic and graffiti have a strong connecting because of the secretive way in which they are done.

"It's literally done underground with all of the history and associations that that implies," says the author.

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