I heard I rumour you wrote this book in a matter of weeks? How did you do that? What influence did this rapid writing have on the shape of the book?
If I knew how I did it, I’d do it all the time. At the moment I’m not sure if it was a lightning strike or a working method. But let me just praise speed for a moment. I teach creative writing and one of the themes of that world is that it’s very hard to write a book. You’re working with people for whom writing is new. They struggle. You struggle with their struggle. I believe in that struggle. But there are other ways to go about things. I was impressed that César Aira says he never revises. He’s published something like eighty books. The other thing on my mind was the work of painter Euan Macleod. I’d written a piece for Art New Zealand on his big retrospective show. One thing amazed me: the speed of his composition. I really envy painters their brushes and their splatter, their approximateness. Language isn’t paint. It’s a world of care and creeping along. But what would it be like to run ahead instead of go my usual sideways?
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