Richard Flanagan, novelist: 'In every work of genius we recognise the shocking truth about ourselves'
Thursday 28 August 2014
Where are you now and what can you see?
In a pub in Hobart, Tasmania, log fire at my back, staring at a phone screen of questions for which I mostly have no answer.
What are you currently reading?
Bohumil Hrabal's Vita Nuova, the second volume of his memoirs written, rather marvellously, from his wife's point of view.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
Reading Cortazar, said Neruda, is like eating a peach from the tree. I have eaten too many peaches to list.
Describe the room where you usually write
A room at our shack on Bruny Island looking out over the sea, and framing a wild world in eclipse – birds such as the forty spotted pardalote and animals such as the quoll that may be extinct in another decade. In summer, I write out on the verandah. Some days you can hear dolphins spouting and birds' wings cutting the air.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
A library of them, from Hannibal Lecter to Natasha Rostov. In every work of genius we recognise the shocking truth about ourselves: we embody the universe but are condemned to posing as a pebble.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
I really don't have one. Beauty and truth are to be found in the flaws in the glass, not the fallacies of perfection.
Richard Flanagan's Man Booker longlisted novel, 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North', is published by Chatto & Windus
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel set to become bestseller
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict