Posts Tagged: colm toibin
We seem to find ourselves, as writers, standing amidst the last century’s discarded tropes of sexual identity. Recently, writers of all sexual permutations have been recycling this narrative architecture; reworking its stones and walls and windows; borrowing and transforming the old, four-square structures of identity into Gehry-like fantasias, curves, and spires.
Alexander Matthews interviews Colm Toíbín for Aerodrome, touching on Toíbín’s transition from journalism and poetry to fiction, coming out, therapy, expatriatism, and the fallacy of self-expression. Toíbín describes the writing process—and writing life—as a “basic urge to communicate levels of feeling—things from the nervous system, and from memory, to other people....more
Brooklyn is a place of layers both personal and historical, one that, as Colm Tóibín puts it, is “full of ghosts.” Reflecting on the recent film adaptation of his novel, the Brooklyn author observes one of the borough’s more visible specters:
You could invent yourself here, even if the term self-invention was not yet understood by you.
If rats then represent terror and chickens innocent striving for something approaching authenticity, humans, for Lispector, are strangely in the middle, often stricken with fear, or handing out terror, but ready also to soar or break loose or achieve some freedom or be fully alert to their fate in a time short enough for one of her stories to be enacted.
Colm Toíbín, author of On Elizabeth Bishop, has a lovely long reflection at the Guardian about Bishop’s friendship with Thom Gunn, and the parallels in the artists’ life and work. Bishop and Gunn both shied away from writing about mentally ill mothers and queer relationships for most of their lives, although Gunn addressed both in the 1990s....more
For a poet as anthologized as Elizabeth Bishop, it’s fair to say there’s a certain lack of serious criticism—or perhaps, critics thinking seriously—about her work, compared to the Modernists against whose influence she was writing. Eavan Boland reviews a new volume by Colm Tóibín that aims to begin closing the gulf....more
“This idea of the older generation as strange, insistent shadows moving closer and closer to substance as time went on, the idea that I was writing, pushing myself to work, almost because they could not or did not, that I was inspired by their silence, has echoes in the work of other writers.”
At The Guardian, Colm Tóibín focuses on relationships between writers and their parents, starting with his own family and finding congruencies in the work of a number of prominent authors....more