Sunday, 4 April 2010

Mark Haddon and Paul Farley

Mark Haddon interviews Paul Farley in an excellent feature over at The Guardian website at the moment.

I've long been interested in the relationship between these two writers. Haddon is obviously renowned for his best-selling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which I thoroughly enjoyed. His follow-up to that book, meanwhile, was a collection of poetry, titled The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, which convinced to a far lesser degree.

In features after its publication, Haddon mentioned Farley on several occasions, and the latter's stylistic and thematic influence on his verse is clear. What's more, Haddon's poetry seems laden with nods towards others, his linguistic virtuosity and great ear getting bogged down in some attempt to prove he can cut it as a poet.

As for Farley, I've already mentioned my admiration for him in previous posts on Rogue Strands. Nevertheless, seldom have I seen him provide such an insight into the mechanics of his creative process as in this article. Maybe he's been drawn out by the interviewer's clear admiration for his work. All in all, it's a fascinating piece.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link, Matthew!

    I used to know Mark, some years before he became 'famous' - as poets rarely do! - and largely agree with what you say. He was always very keen to 'prove himself' as a poet, perhaps because he had been writing and publishing prose for years and felt pigeon-holed as a certain kind of writer. Understandable, of course, but if carried on into a poetry career, that kind of self-consciousness can become inhibiting.

    Relax, don't look at what anyone else is doing around you, and write what the hell you like. That would be my advice. (Though obviously it's only for established poets ... newbies do need to see what everyone else is doing first, lol, before they reinvent the wheel.)