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Honor Levy on Her ‘Original York’ Journal Interview, ‘My First Guide,’ and Politics

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Honor Levy, 26, is backlit on a Zoom veil by the noon California sun. A teddy endure is propped in the back of her. She’s wearing an oversized shaded T-shirt that, she shows me, reads “Undruggable Unshockable Unstoppable.” She no longer vapes, she says as she leans over to lift out something “disgusting” with a Lucy nicotine pouch, now not moderately entirely out of peek of her pc digicam. This used to be eons ago. On the initiating of Might possibly also fair. The day earlier than Levy, whose Instagram address is @victim0_o, turned into the field of vitriol in a explicit corner of the internet.

Sooner than that, she used to be a baby rising up in Los Angeles. She attended Bennington College because she loved Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, and Bret Easton Ellis, and conception Vermont used to be regarded as one of doubtlessly the most glowing places she’d ever seen. NY Tyrant published regarded as one of her short tales factual over a week earlier than her college graduation; The Original Yorker published her flash fiction the following July. She tumbled about 190 miles south, into downtown Manhattan’s Dimes Sq. and the pages of The Original York Events.

She accrued a sequence of alternative Instagram handles: @abuser0_o, @survivor0_o, @accuser0_o, @enabler0_o, @martyr0_o, @witness0_o. She had plans to publish a e book with Tyrant Books, but then its founder, Giancarlo DiTrapano, died. She converted to Catholicism and used to be quoted some more, including in this journalwherein she spoke of her friendliness with Original Lawful frontman Curtis Yarvin and an k-ness (purely hypothetical) with accepting cash from Peter Thiel. She cohosted and then laid to rest a podcast known as Moist Brain, on which, for a cumulative 35 hours, she rang up visitors and acquaintances; brought up Discord, visiting Roosevelt Island with her dad, and a white supremacist dog whistle; and talked about issues esteem, “Jesus died for me to absorb premarital!” Then her agent equipped her e book to Penguin Press. In 2023, after seven years on the East Cruise and one terrifying breakup, she moved dwelling to LA, into her fresh boyfriend’s dwelling in “the flat segment” of Beverly Hills. “It’s 90212,” she says, “so I bought to lift grinding.”

Tomorrow to come, My First Guide, her first e book, comes out. Which used to be the motive of the interview in Original York journal’s The Sever, which used to be the catalyst for the following internet ire. “Very tiresome for any individual in the NY lit scene to interview their buddy about their debut e book and write about how they’re the insist of their generation, all over again, because they write in updated-alt-lit-internet-focus on,” one particular person declared; but any other known as it “an accidental hit share.” (Brock Colyar, the Sever author, had blurbed Levy’s e book, calling it “entertaining.”) Others did now not esteem that Levy’s mother is a Hollywood makeup artist, though they roughly cherished that her father directed a slate of B movies in the 1990s. Someone expressed confusion: Wasn’t she overtly racist? Someone talked about that 26-yr-olds shouldn’t write memoirs. (Her most appealing e book is a transient fable sequence.)

Many took peril with this paragraph quoted in the Original York Events review:

He used to be giving knight errant, organ-meat eater, Byronic hero, Haplogroup R1b. She used to be giving damsel in misery, pill-popper pixie dream girl, Haplogroup K. He used to be in his fall of Rome era. She used to be serving sixth and closing mass extinction realness. His face used to be a marble statue. Her face used to be an anime waifu. They scrolled into one but any other.

Model is subjective, but this, for sure we are able to agree, is droll, is satire.

Our conversations evoke the discombobulating referential abilities of procuring on a social media platform. Real by strategy of our first 90-minute Zoom, she mentions: Kathy Acker, H.P. Lovecraft, Dostoevsky, Stephenie Meyer, Eve Babitz, Dave Chappelle, Joan Didion, Yarvin, Robert Anton Wilson, Roberto Bolaño, Bronze Age Pervert, Cookie Mueller, Norman Mailer, Terence McKenna. The Bloomsbury Community and the Algonquin Spherical Desk. Rookie magazine.

She describes her absorb sequence as “a photocopy of a photocopy” and about a of its tales as “extremely mediocre,” but that sentiment would possibly be influenced by Dwight Garner’s review, which she tells me she didn’t read at the same time as she paraphrases what’s in it. She says, of the e book, “I wish I would possibly even absorb made it greater.”

But when the tales are working properly—and they occasionally are—they capture the fractured sense of existing as a body in the physical world, but furthermore as a mind on-line. They evoke loneliness and confusion. They checklist the gulf between who their characters are wanting to be, how folks scrutinize them, and who they are.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Shallowness Beautiful: After I used to be studying the e book, I used to be doing that terrifying thing of conflating narrators with you, and—


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