quality of the silence

Radio 3 interviews are ripe for the picking of architectural metaphors.

In the time honoured blogging tradition of curating x and pointing out that it’s a bit like y, here’s a quote from Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright that got me thinking about spatial comparisons and architectural narratives (my emphasis).

A short story is a slight thing, the only thing it does is change the quality of the silence after the last line. Just a shift. Just a change. It doesn’t have to be epiphanic, it can be metaphorical, it can be a change of weather. I’m quite interested in slight changes. I like the silence after a fly has flown out of the window. That kind of change. That’s a lovely and subtle thing if you can catch that.

My overarching concern is with the shape of the thing. And also with keeping it moving, I like the sentences to move, I like lives to move, I want fluidity, I want a kinetic thing. It’s like a poet wants the poem to move and be still at the same time. I’m interested in getting the sentences around corners, and I’m interested in getting the light to change, and I’m interested in them not being fixed, that’s when I say that they have these free running minds – these people. So whatever happens, good or bad, happy or unhappy, to me isn’t as important as the shifts.

(see also: John Tusa interviewing Edmund De Waal transcribed on no2self1.0 and my brief entries on Walsall Art Gallery for examples of those shifts.)

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