8 Writers on Facing the Blank Page
“It’s like a slightly overweight, bald boss saying: ‘Oy, get to work! You’re supposed to be a writer, aren’t you? You can’t just sit around on your fat ass waiting to be inspired’.” Hear how David Mitchell and seven other authors face the blank page.
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“The blank page of the mind has to be filled before you can face the actual blank page,” says American author novelist Jonathan Franzen (b. 1959) – a view mirrored by several of the writers featured in this anthology. Lydia Davis (b. 1947) never sits down in front of a blank page, but only confronts it when she has a note or a thought at hand, and Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1938) runs, meditates and thinks deeply before approaching the blank page: “I would never write first,” she says. “As soon as you write in language it becomes frozen (…) writing prematurely is a mistake.”
A blank page can also be a door, a portal opening onto infinite possibilities. To David Mitchell (b. 1969) the blank page is like a fantastic night sky “with a super moon really close to the ground and all the stars and the galaxies. It makes your heart beat faster.” And the most important, explains award-winning author Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), is to be in the flow: “If you’re skiing downhill, and you stop in the middle of it to think ‘how am I doing this?’ you’ll fall over.”
Also featured in this anthology is German novelist Daniel Kehlmann (b. 1975), American novelist Philipp Meyer (b. 1974) and Egyptian novelistAlaa Al-Aswany (b. 1957).
Interviews by Christian Lund, Kasper Bech Dyg and Marc-Christoph Wagner. The interviews can be watched in full length at http://channel.louisiana.dk.
Produced and edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016
Supported by Nordea-fonden