Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adam Thirlwell interview

Adam Thirlwell made waves with his debut novel Politics six years ago. The British mini-Kundera, as he is sometimes called, has a new novel now.

Q:What are the roots of your own passion for literature?

A: Aged 13, on a summer holiday, I discovered poetry. In some terribly Freudian way, it was related to having my mother's attention. I discovered words could be so much fun without even understanding them. I've always been interested in words when they go a bit haywire and the sound and sense get dislocated. I was 18 and I'd gone to Prague and visited Kafka's house. I bought Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel. I'd never thought of the novel as a poetic form. What I've got from Kundera is that a novel can be as playful as a poem. More and more, I think of writing as a way of creating your own map of the world, discovering what is possible, and describing a reality that is most Adamish. You can impose your own patterns on what is lacking in pattern. One of the games of writing is that some repeats are fruitful. It's also a game of constant contradiction.

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