Wednesday, August 03, 2005


JH: I've often thought you should write a memoir. Strindberg's writings I love (and Marlowe and Synge), but I don't know if he would be that much of an influence on my plays. He very well could be. There would be kind of a plot in my plays. I'm interested in plays on historical themes, such as my brief play on Sophonisba, so the plot would come about with some knowledge of the historical / legendary events. An encyclopedia entry would be enough for the outlines of the play, the sun to the play's shadow or what have you. More knowledge of the historical goings-on would add to the reading, but wouldn't be crucial. Yes, I've read, and admire, Stacy Doris. The flarf plays are hilarious - I especially like Gary Sullivan's flarf with The Beatles - "Oh How We Larfed" I think it's called (no, I Googled it - key words 'Gary Sullivan' and 'larfed' - and discovered it's titled Larfing It Up).

This is the third Beatles reference in this interview. Design or coincidence, blog reader? I should go ahead and write these plays so I can show what I want to do. Perhaps we should write what we're not drawn towards. You get started on a play, and I'll get started on a prose fiction! What if you wrote a play, a prose play, that was excellent, and then more excellent plays, and then you found you couldn't write anything but plays, ever? And you hated writing plays more than any dismal chore you've ever performed? Every day you'd have to write plays, because each one took a cruelly long time to finish. But you become the greatest prose playwright ever! Is an author's personal enjoyment a necessary part of the work ('work' as verb and noun)?

AHB: Today, I was at the farm down the road, quick tomato run. The cashier, a teenager, wore a Beatles shirt: a picture of the Fab Four and a concert ticket. I remarked to her that The Beatles landed at the airfield that is just about the farm's neighbour when they arrived in Boston back in '64. This was a ploy to evade the the hordes of Beatlemaniacs who had gathered at Logan Airport to scream their tribute. 4th Beatles reference. To some extent, I do write what I am not drawn to. That is, I experiment, twiddle with method. I post a lot of my experiments on my blog because they seem worthy but they also seem foreign, created by methods that are not 2nd nature to me. But really, I haven't met a writing task that isn't enjoyable. I've written all sorts of genre (however well). I used to write high-toned ad copy, you might call it, namely the advertising newsletter for the winestore where I worked. In finally earning my BA last fall, I wrote lots of formal papers, a completely new experience for me. I really enjoy writing, so it is hard to imagine the situation you posit. The hallmark of a successful genre fiction writer is a franchise character or situation that the writer can continually exploit, and I would guess that that can get tiresome, but I still see the potential for adventure in such a task. I consider ruffling one's own feathers a positive thing to do. So I didn't really answer your question, or simply proved by my reply that I lack imagination. Do you ever find writing difficult (in the sense of not wanting to continue) or unpleasant? Also (and I think related), at what point in your writing career did you start thinking of yourself as A Writer (or even A Poet), and not just hacking around? When did you find yourself committed to it as, if I am not putting words into your mouth, a lifelong dedication? The inference of your query concerns dedication, I should think.