On Facing the Blank Page
“I make sure I never face a blank page.” American author Lydia Davis – recognized as one of the innovators of contemporary American fiction – here shares how she deals with ‘the blank page’ by only going to it when she has something to fill it with.
When one of her writer friends set about to make a collection of other authors’ blank pages, Davis was surprised at her own reaction: “I didn’t want to give him any of my blank pages. It became very personal and very private, even though there was nothing written on them.”
Lydia Davis (b. 1947) is considered “the master of form largely of her own invention.” She has written several collections of short stories, e.g. ‘Break It Down’ (1986), ‘Varieties of Disturbance’ (2007) and ‘Can’t and Won’t’ (2014) as well as one novel ‘The End of the Story’ (1995). When Davis received the Man Booker International Prize in 2013, the chairman of the judges said that “her writings fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind. Just how to categorize them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apophthegms, prayers or simply observations.” Davis is also an acclaimed translator of French writers such as Proust, Gustave Flaubert and Maurice Blanchot.
Lydia Davis was interviewed by Christian Lund in connection to the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in August 2014.
Cameras: Klaus Elmer & Nikolaj Jungersen
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015
Supported by Nordea-fonden