Saturday, March 14, 2009


Earlier this week I went to Hobart. I discovered when I got there that I had left the power cord of my laptop back home in Mole Creek, neatly wound – I had a clear memory of rolling it – on my desk. My first reaction was to sulk. When I’d done that I realised there was no pressing work I had to do, so I could just enjoy myself, drinking coffee and reading. Making the most of the situation – and the mild autumnal weather – I suppose.

I sat all day the first day reading the latest Meanjin (Volume 68 Number 1 2009). It was a great companion and just what I needed.

This from an interview of Nam Le by Sophie Cunningham:

How do you judge others’ work?
…For me something has got to keep me wanting to turn the pages, not necessarily in a cheap charged way but just in a sense that I feel as though there’s an authority or a confidence or a strangeness that’s at work in the pages that makes me want to submit myself or relinquish some part of myself. Beyond that, I define it in negative relief, honestly. I define it by stuff that doesn’t jolt me out, stuff that doesn’t make amateur mistakes, by stuff that obviously takes care and doesn’t take easy outs.

Like your approach to your own work?
It’s so easy to hedge and to worry about sentimentality or melodramatic prose, but if you haven’t got the guts to risk sentimentality then you risk losing sentiment altogether. [As an editor] I’d always go for the raw and the strange over the polished and competent.

Nice words to have in my mind as I approach the revision of my book.

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