“Art makes no laws, only very difficult complicated suggestions,” says John Gardner, author of the recent October Light and five earlier novels. Born in 1933, Gardner grew up on a farm near Batavia, New York, and was educated at Washington University in St. Louis and at the State University of Iowa. He is married and the father of two children. A teacher and a scholar specializing in medieval literature, he has been teaching at both Skidmore and Bennington colleges this year. He was interviewed during a visit to Lexington, Kentucky, for the premier of Rumpelstiltskin, an opera for which he wrote the libretto.