1 – What is the story behind My Paris? I mean, how did it come to be?
I was living in a writers’ studio, having been granted a six month sojourn by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. I iniitially thought it would be fun to do touristy a pot-boiler, using Benjamin’s Arcades Project as a kind of guide. But the more I walked about Paris, this was in the 90s, the more I felt myself interested in what happends to the consécutive waves of avant garde militants and artists from Benjamin’s time to the present. So the book became a conversation with Benjamin and Gertrude Stein, among others, about these matters.
2 – Do you think there’s anything other then body in language?
Certainly both the body and language are generated via a complex network of conditions and circumstances. I’ve always thought writing is conversation and I suppose that implies on some level two bodies that meet. But when it is a matter of written text what is in language is words borrowed from everywhere.
3 – What is a fuckable text? And is it only fuckable in a particular language?
I wasn’t sure what you meant by a fuckable text. Then I remembered a youngVancouver writer wrote on Goodreads about, I think, my last novel, The Obituary :oh yes again more more (something like that). A text that involves reader closeness, reader ingérence, reader work for reader pleasure seems like what you are talking about. I would call it a democratic text.
4 – Does a literary hard-on exist? If so, what are some of the works you’ve enjoyed reading lately?
This summer I have been reading Beckett. Beckett. Beckett.
5 – Can you tell us what the act of publishing means to you?
It is painful in as much as I am an expérimental prose writer and few are thepublishers who are willing to take that on ; or, if they do, they often seem unable to know how to present it to the public. Of course the special moment of meeting the reader that publishing enables and fosters is wonderful.
6,7 – What have you been up to? What other projects have you got lined up? Where do you live nowadays?
I have pretty well always lived in Montréal, though in récent years have spent afair amount of time in NYC. I’m working on a kind of essay, very Montaigne style, about the poets I read and talked to during the Obama era.
8 – What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Brasil?
I have Brazilian friends in Montréal and a Québécoise friend, a film Producer, whotravels frequently to Brazil. So it conjures lots of things to based on snatches of stories I hear. Intense politics. Carnival. The burning Amazon.
Gail Scott is the author of six books, including Heroine (Coach House, 1987; Talonbooks, 1999) and the acclaimed Main Brides (Coach House, 1993; Talonbooks, 1997). Her romance My Paris (Mercury Press, 1999) was selected by Quill & Quire as one of the ten best books published in Canada in 1999. Scott was named, in 2001, for the Governor General’s Award, for her english translation of Michael Delisle’s book The Sailor’s Disquiet. She lives in Canada and teaches in the University of Montreal. <http://www.gail-scott.com/>