Anda di halaman 1dari 3

Copyright Robert Dessaix 2012. All rights reserved.

. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Copyright Robert Dessaix 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

1. Can you tell us a little about your most recent book, As I Was Saying? It is a kind of long, rambling conversation with my readers, made up mostly of talks Ive given in recent years on subjects I feel strongly about (the nature of beauty, for example, as well as noses, the subjunctive, Alexandria, travel, the personal essay, Australia), with long linking passages of chat about dogs, friendship, the Silk Road, idleness (in which I am a passionate believer), tea, Montaignea real potpourri of (I hope) promising subjects for good talk. Its a published book, but I hope it retains the intimate feel of two friends talking. 2. Certain themes run through your work, for example: beauty, intimacy and living a good life. Can you tell us more about why these themes interest you so much? I started writing fairly late in life - my first real book came out when I was fifty - by which time a certain distillation of themes had taken place in my mind. I had moved away from causes, ideological arguments and the search for meaning, towards something more to do with beauty and what the French call une belle vie - usually translated as the good life, but actually a beautiful life. I want to know what might give someone with my background a sense of living a good - that is, a beautiful - life. And intimacy is always a part of that finding new ways to be intimate with friends, with those I love, with my own thoughts and feelings, perhaps even with my readers - or at least ways of encouraging them to explore intimacy for themselves.

3. As well as your memoirs/essay-writing, you have written two novels, Night Letters and Corfu. Your novels are often perceived as highly autobiographical. Would you agree with that, and if so, why write them as novels? For me all there is is conversation. But, unless there is some storytelling in conversation (and in writing), the listeners heart is scarcely moved. I would like to move hearts, not just minds. So sometimes in my conversations with my readers I retell life in ways that move what I write in the direction of fiction, so I call these books novels. It's all just conversation, drawing on my own life. I cant hear what my readers are saying in reply, but I can imagine.

4. You now live in Hobart. How have you found the move from Melbourne to Hobart and what effect, if any, has it had on your writing? I think I moved too late to become a Tasmanian writer in the way that Richard Flanagan is, say, or Heather Rose or our best poets are. But living at the edge of the world gives me a certain freedom to say and do whatever I want at the time, without having to think about what fashion might dictate or compare myself with other writers. There is freedom in the peripheries. And Tasmania is beautiful and beauty matters to me. The stories I want to tell, however, tend not to be Tasmanian. I dont think anyone should feel obliged to write about where they live in a physical sense. Its where you live mentally that matters.

Copyright Robert Dessaix 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

5. You are a great traveller, believing that travel is good for the soul. Can you tell us about that? Travel for me has meant going, usually but not always alone, to a place that allows me to look back on my everyday life at home (my attachments, values, priorities, achievements) in an enlightening, transforming way. Above all, it is about escaping the domestic, whether or not that means banality and drudgery or busyness. It is about searching out places where I find myself interesting - where I come to life - and that might be Paris or Peru or a corner of the backyard.

6. What are you working on now? I am rewriting a play I wrote over a number of years for production next year, and slowly writing a memoir - well, a sort of memoir: an extended essay on how to think about time that has grown out of a life-changing event last year - and contemplating possibilities for another play.

7. And finally, how does one live a good life? By living many lives all at once, both in the world and in memory and in the heart - which isnt as easy as it sounds.

Minat Terkait