‘In the Soft Typewriter of the Womb’


“I can’t understand why everyone isn’t attracted to modernism. How can we disagree with the idea that there is subjective as well as chronological time? One of the things that really fascinates me about the novels of Anita Brookner is that I regard her male and female characters as 18th century characters living in the 20th century. This is not a dig at a skilled writer — it genuinely interests me. How can anyone who is engaged with literature be arrogant and dumb enough to dismiss the writing of (in no particular order) Whitman, Baudelaire, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Pound, Stein, Eliot, Genet, Beckett, Woolf, and Mansfield as an irrelevant experiment? I was born into a world that was utterly changed by modernism. Modernism is the soft typewriter of the womb that made me. How can point of view not be multi-angled? Don’t they have to blinker horses with a leather blind to stop them from having a multi-angled point of view?”

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favourite writers Deborah Levy for 3:AM Magazine. She’s a wonderfully-gifted writer (I can’t recommend her books highly enough) and her responses were as brilliant, engaging and thought-provoking as I could have hoped for. You can read it for yourselves here.

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6 Responses to ‘In the Soft Typewriter of the Womb’

  1. “How can we disagree with the idea that there is subjective as well as chronological time?”

    In an age where theoretical physics is just coming to the realization that time may not actually exist but could just be the perceived effect of something else… well, it doesn’t surprise me if everyone else is a little behind on truly grasping (not just understanding, but actually UNDERSTANDING) that time, as we know it, is all perceived and subjective. Chronologically is just one way of organizing it, but it’s not the ONLY way – like alphabetizing vs. Dewey decimal.

  2. joseph ridgwell says:

    Darran, I need to speak to you, can you give me your email as I have lost it. Joe

  3. Great questions, great answers. Thanks for doing this interview. Haven’t yet read Swimming Home. Will do asap.

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