What first got you interested in writing?
Writing is perhaps what remains to you when you've been driven from the realm of the given world, says Jean Genet. I don’t feel I got interested in writing so much as forced into it.
Who or what particularly influences your work?
Who? Writers from continental Europe, from South America … from anywhere except Britain, where I'm from. Or who regard themselves as internal exiles in this country.
What? A sense that we are living in the end of times.
Describe your writing process.
‘Writing was always difficult for me, even though I had begun with what is known as vocation. Vocation is different from talent. One can have vocation and not talent; one can be called and not know how to go’, says Clarice Lispector.
For my part, I always had vocation. I think what I learnt, through the million or so words I wrote at the blog on which Spurious is based, was that my talent lay in decrying my 'talent'.
The writing process? A lengthy self-assassination. The systematic expunging of literary gestures. Humiliation in public.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned as a writer?
That novels sell very, very few copies. But perhaps that’s only the case with my novel …
Which of your books is your favorite and why?
No contest. The Blanchot books are academic things, Spurious a living thing, because it knows its own anachronism, and laughs at it.
What kind of effect do you hope your books will have?
I like nothing better than hearing a reader laugh out loud. But I want to make the reader sob, too.
Interview with Contemporary Authors (offline publication)