rob mclennan: Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
Glen Downie: Yeats wrote: “God guard me from those thoughts men think/ in the mind alone./ He that sings a lasting song/ thinks in a marrow bone.” That expresses some of my wariness about the theoretical. Theory needn’t be purely intellectual, of course, but people often do cleave to it out of a desire to appear intellectually superior, and to win the support of academics and some imagined ‘better class’ of critics or readers. There are theoretical concerns – as there are moral, existential and emotional ones – behind, below, above, within and around my writing, many issues that I wrestle with both as a writer and a human being. But I’m not sure I can or want to articulate them differently here than they are in the work itself. Of course, critics and other thoughtful readers are welcome to try.
- Glen Downie, in interview with rob mclennan as part of his 10 or 20 questions series. You can read the full interview here.
You can also read an excellent poems by Glen right here on this blog, as part of my interview with Bright Well anthology editor Fiona Lam.