Thursday, November 3, 2011

Featured Fig: Martin Glaz Serup

1. Tell us a little bit about your aesthetic inclinations?

I believe art can do ... oh, so many different things, at different times and at the same time; as for writing, it's also a way of focusing, remembering, dialoguing, trying very hard to be somebody else or something else or more or less than yourself... I'm inclined towards art that offers different angles and is several things at the same time, not just one; art and writing that welcomes different ways of being at the same time and dares to investigate that. If that doesn’t sound all too cryptic.

2. Where did you come from and are you happy that you're no longer there?

The tougher suburbs of Copenhagen, which I loved, but coming back on visit recently made me wish very intensely that my own children should never grow up in a place like that. Too rough, too much concrete, too few people doing 'something else' to get inspired by. A few years ago I lived in a village with only 250 inhabitants on a tiny island in the sea of Western Denmark, which was also very rough, but in an entirely different manner; I miss that place almost daily.

3. What does your work demand? What does it offer?

First of all, that you read it, of course; and then, what comes out of reading it. I hope that there is no single answer to that, but rather, many questions should arise.

4. Where do you do what you do?

Whenever I get the chance, wherever, preferably travelling alone somewhere, to a hut, a hotel or a getaway, spending several days in succession alone, focused, just running and reading and writing. However, most of the time my life isn't like that... still I get the work done.

5. If push came to shove...

I would immediately google it and learn a new English idiom...

6. Please tell us about beauty, belief or bawdry. You may begin.

Well, all with B, has a nice sound, a nice half rhyme when spoken together, can be both good or bad, bawdry is the best. What would you rather read—a book of beauty, belief or bawdry? The last of course. It can have its own beauty. And truth.

7. As Gertrude Stein says "let us why why." Please proceed.

That means to say that more sighs last goes. Leave with it. I was just in Paris France, and in Paris France I was reading Paris France by Gertrude Stein; she's right - you can be absolutely sure, that if someone starts to run into the traffic to get out of the way of the cars, they're not French.

8. What does art do to you?

When good, it makes me happy.

9. Who (or what) do you admire?

So many people; to mention some of the writers whose work is piled on my desk right now: Gertrude Stein, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Pentti Saarikoski, Peter Laugesen, Lyn Hejinian, Lars Norén (his diaries), Anton Chekov (his travel journals from Sibiria)...

10. What is a good question? What questions do you ask?

It's almost too easy to answer that: that! is a good question...

11.What do you find deeply satisfying?

To get things done, to feel there's time enough, to be anonymous, to jog, to read, to write, sex, to drink a lot of very good white wine, to eat well, to be in a powerful landscape, preferably all of it at the same time.

12. What are your favorite kinds of figs?

All kinds as long as they're open, so you can see both the outside and the inside at the same time; the joy of looking.

MARTIN GLAZ SERUP was born in 1978 and has published six children’s books, most recently an illustrated story entitled When granddad was a postman (2010), two chapbook-essays, as well as five collections of poetry; his most recent, the long poem The Traffic Is Unreal (2007), was also published in Finland (2010). Serup is the former founding editor of the Nordic web-magazine for literary criticism and the literary journal Apparatur and managing editor of the poetry magazine Hvedekorn. He has been teaching creative writing at The University of Southern Denmark and at the writer’s school for children’s literature at The University of Aarhus and is now a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen. In 2006 Serup received the Michael Strunge Prize for poetry and in 2008 he received a Gold medal from The University of Copenhagen for his dissertation of Poetry and Relational Aesthetics. In 2011 Les Figues press released the English-translation of The Field.

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