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Tiah Beautement

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Charles Bukowski interviews Richard de Nooy for SSDA

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Short Story Day Africa was thrilled to hear that their 2014 Judge Richard de Nooy was passing through South Africa this May. However our local interviewer, Tiah Beautement, has been hectically busy with writing workshops and other SSDA madness. So she did what anyone in her situation would do: outsourced. In this case, she tapped loyal SSDA sponsor Charles Bukowski * to speak with Richard. Because let us be honest, there is nobody with more spare time on his hands than a dead poet. So welcome Charles and Richard to our latest round of Q&As. We look forward to hearing what you both have to say.

Charles Bukowski and Richard de Nooy

CB: I say, I know that you’re there.Richard de Nooy

RdN:  We’re all here, and not all there, at one time or another.

CB: Oh, a writer, eh?

RdN: Well spotted.

CB: I knew it would be you.
Great writers are indecent people.
What do you write?

RdN: Novels and short stories, and short stories disguised as novels. I tweet.

CB: Hey baby, when I write, I’m the hero of my shit.
What’s the name of it?

RdN: The Unsaid is out in the cradle, and Xenophilia is the bun in the oven.

CB: Oh, I like that. What’s it about?

RdN: Do you remember Hunter S. Thompson? Imagine him stuck on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. That’s The Unsaid in a nutshell (or a nuthouse, if you prefer).

CB: Are you nuts?

RdN: I’ll ask my shrink.

CB: What a weary time those years were.
Are you becoming what you’ve always hated?

RdN: Fear and Self-Loathing in Amsterdam – would that be a good title for a memoir?

CB: There’s a light somewhere.
It may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.

RdN: Well, you can’t have one without the other. Into each light some shade must fall.

CB: The shortest distance between two points is?

RdN: A man stepping off a ledge.

CB: I just let it roll. Like a hot turd down a hill.
Poetry is what happens when?

RdN: You stop worrying whether people will understand what you’re saying.

CB: Find what you love and let it kill you?

RdN: What if you love more than one person or thing? Russian Roulette with three or four shooters, one of which is loaded?

CB: I mean, say that you figure that everything is senseless, then it can’t be quite senseless because you are aware that it’s senseless and your awareness of senselessness almost gives it sense. You know what I mean?

RdN: True senselessness is unattainable. Is that what you’re saying? That’s tragic.

205693_440922422645649_1009928304_nAaaaaaaand Charles has left. This is what happens when you ask a dead man to do your work for you. Ahem. Anyway, Richard we thank you very much for putting up with the grouchy soul. We wish you the very best with The Unsaid.

* All of Charles’ speech is taken from actual quotes when the poet was alive (although not necessarily sober).


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