Saturday, October 01, 2005


JH: We've written about how our lives and reading influence our writing. What about vice-versa? How has your writing and reading influenced your life - in particular, do you see and think about things through ink? If so, do the literary thoughts happen simultaneously with the perception / thought or is there a lag? A lengthy lag? Consistently or sporadically? I'm not so much speaking of an idea for a poem, but whether you assign a set of words, phrases, or sentences to a sight or thought? Does the assigning come from without, according to a particular method currently guiding your writing, or is it free association? Consistently or sporadically? Have you ever evolved a method, not so much the "physical" form of the poem, via this on-spot free association?

AHB: I'm not sure if I can answer your question. I think the literary thoughts mostly happen when I write. I like to witness interesting things, which sounds prosaic. I think I actively try not to process the interesting things beyond identifying them as, er, interesting. I stand on the seashore, for instance, and absorb the scene. I don't look at the sea as a symbol of death, or whatever, tho I often find it unnerving (The Perfect Storm scared the bejesus out of me, tho having seen the movie didn't stop me from reading the book). I just try to absorb and hold on as much as I can. I think the other 22 hours of the day when I'm not writing, I am preparing to, tho I don't suppose those 22 are billable hours. I feel like the writer is always nearby in the day but I can't eumerate the ways. I don't even know how to detach that writer from the rest of me. What about you? Do you feel actively like a writer when pen is not in hand? Oh wait, Henry James dictated his later works. Are you talking about consciousness here?


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