Sunday, October 23, 2005


JH: I don't think I have that citizen - is this something like the Mr Hyde side of the Ideal Reader? Do you write with an Ideal Reader in mind or an Ideal Author? With me, it's the Ideal Author, who definitely has a Mr Hyde side. I've a vague sense of an ideal reader, someone well-read and forgiving, but mostly I write with an idea of an author. Is the idea of author really that of a (mental, and habitual) action, or of a text referred to in the author's mind - a constantly allusive text? If a text, did you compose it, and how much?

AHB: I was thinking about aspects of careermindedness as they relate to writing, as in: what are people thinking of me, but you raise a curious possibility: the Ideal Author. I suppose Blake meant as much with his Authours in Eternity. Or else some perfectable sense of one's obligation as a writer. Those don't seem to be my terms. I think I write to an Ideal Reader, whoever that might be. The idea of author is both a habitual and, haha, mental action, but allusive text: yes! That constant allusion brings one forth: yes again! I couldn't measure how much a text is 'mine', not in the sense of consciously bumping it into shape. Aside from channeling Martians or angels, writers also channel texts that they've read, dare I say misread? And the Reader's import has to be mixed in. I'd just say it's a complex process for which I get the credit. Does this Mr Hyde you admit to bother, scare, concern you at all?


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