Sunday, November 7, 2010

In depth...



The image is entirely misleading and unintentionally amusing, given the title.
It is the local graveyard and shows the wild flowers growing there.
The council poison these each year in their search for tidiness.
It is predicated on 'low maintenance'.
But each year these beautiful flowers come back.
I added it as an image as I like pictures and hate blogs that only have 'words'.
But this blog is actually all about words.
Below is the link to an in-depth interview which Siobhan Harvey did with me last year. It is published in an online journal of some substance. I have to confess though the literate comments I make are the result of proofing and rewriting. I was shocked by my own stumbling grammar and inability to complete a full sentence when the proof of the verbatim conversation was initially sent.
I had had several coffees before the interview so maybe I can blame Good Sister Caffeine for my jittery lack of conversational logic.
I have to thank Siobhan for looking back at my earlier work. The fact is, as a writer, all earlier work vanishes in a haze beside the bright obturate problem of what you are attempting to write at present...which appears as confusing and blinding as looking into a mirror catching sunlight....









15 comments:

  1. Peter you were very fortunate to get such a brilliantly informed interlocutor as Siobhan Harvey. The two of you give a fascinating account of not only your work but of literary work in general and New Zealand.

    I think Ms Harvey makes an interesting point about 'man alone' which you don't quite pick up on - it's a very strong part of the New Zealand construct of masculinity. Very present in D Llloyd-Jenkins' "At Home" for example (see the photograph which closes the 'First House' chapter - the stuff of nightmares, that poor, poor woman).

    I was puzzled by Ms Harvey's question

    SH: Of course, there are always gay characters in your fiction. Does your response to the previous question mean that you can envisage a time when you write a piece of work in which there are no gay characters?


    I mean as if life has 'no gay characters'. Try putting 'heterosexual characters' in that question. And it's not as if there were no heterosexual characters in your work.

    Why don't people get the idea that homosexual people are human too and speak to the human condition as any character might?

    * * *

    The photo is lovely. Are the flowers 'native'?

    I love that they won't go away despite the poisoning.

    I M

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ian, I felt - lucky? - to have anyone question me about my work so closely. The question - will you ever produce a work in which a homosexual doesn't feature - is probably answered by my current book, which is about the missionary William Colenso. (ie an ostensibly incredibly hetero subject.)

    But then we get into the question of sensibility and probably my sensibility filters through everything I write.

    'Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are’ Emerson, 1860
    The Conduct of Life.

    ***
    To my shame I don't know the 'ethnicity' - if I can use such an ugly
    word - of the flowers.

    What I can say is they made themselves at home.

    Peter

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