Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates

Abnormal State of Writing

Joyce Carol Oates – one of the most accomplished living American authors – here shares her two very different approaches to writing and argues that writing is in fact “a somewhat abnormal state.”

“One is very passionate and impulsive, and it can be extremely emotional. Then the other writing is more cool and maybe classical and more carefully shaped.” Oates finds that these dissimilar ways of writing are both quite satisfying, and that they can be used at different stages of one’s life. For instance, writing fiction demands a certain level of concentration, whereas writing journals is more approachable if one finds oneself in a “state of mental fragmentation.”

Being an artist, one furthermore has to remember that most people aren’t interested in the work-process but rather in the final result: “If the work of art is striking and original in itself, nobody really cares about the stages that went into it.”

Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1938) is an award-winning American author, who has published a large number of novels, plays, novellas, short stories, poetry and nonfiction. Among her books are ‘them’ (1969), ‘Black Water’ (1992), ‘Demon and other tales’ (1996), ‘Blonde’ (2000), ‘The Falls’ (2004), ‘Black Dahlia & White Rose’ (2012) and ‘The Accursed’ (2013), which writer Stephen King described as “the world’s first postmodern Gothic novel.” She has won the National Book Award (1969), two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal (2010), the Norman Mailer Prize (2012) and many more. Three of her novels, ‘Black Water’ (1992), ‘What I Lived For’ (1994) and ‘Blonde’ (2000), have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Joyce Carol Oates was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in connection to the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in August 2014.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Edited and produced by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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