Thursday 16 June 2011

Dancing With Myself: DAVID ROSE interviews DAVID ROSE

Why did you write Vault?

    As a sprat to catch a mackerel. The mackerel

meanwhile has got away, for the time being at least;

you are left with the sprat.

Explain yourself.

    Any writer trying to place a short story collection

with a publisher will be asked immediately: Are you

 working on a novel? I decided to embark on one in

order to answer truthfully (writers should always be

truthful), Yes. Its whole raison d'être was as a work-in-

progress. Sadly progress on the work outstripped

progress with the placing of the stories, and both were

then placed in the bottom drawer.

How did it get out?

    By luck. Or rather, divine intervention, a deus ex

machina in the shape of Nick Royle. In a chance phone

conversation, he asked if I had written anything longer

than the short stories he'd seen (this was years after its

interment). He then, in his well-known and heroic

gluttony for punishment, asked to read it. He tried to

place it, first through his agent, later by himself. He

finally succeeded, and is now enjoying the meagre

reward of (non-financial) satisfaction.

Why is it called Vault?

    I simply wanted a two-edged title to fit the double-

stranded construction, and short to fit the length. Hence

a single-word pun (which has no further significance).

    Titles I find a struggle. So my next novel is called

The Untitled and, reversely or perversely, is constructed

from puns. For which reasons it may well not escape

from the bottom drawer.

Where did the image or motif of the centaur come


    From my consummate creative capacity.

Are you being truthful? The alliteration suggests not.

    You're very perceptive. It turns out - and I was

delighted to discover this - that it possibly comes from

a brilliant essay by Hugh Kenner on Samuel Beckett's

work and its many but unobtrusive references to

bicycles, the essay's title being The Cartesian Centaur. I

 don't remember initially reading it, but the annotations

indicate I did. I only rediscovered the essay a few

months ago; too late to retitle the novel Whatt?

And the sniping? The espionage? Where did they

come from?

    No idea.

Bill Broady in his endorsement alludes to Len

Deighton. Were you aiming at a literate thriller?

    I was aiming for thrilling literature. Sadly...

What is your definition of Literature?

    Literature, like all the arts, is a process for converting

 misery to compost.

Would you care to elaborate?



So, Vault not thrilling literature. Notwithstanding, is

it any good?

    I haven't read it.

(Sea Minor answers yes to the question.  To find out

exactly what he thought click here)

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