Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Saturday night, in Vancouver in winter

What it is not to have a bewk when one desires it. It’s Saturday night, in Vancouver in winter and I would like to be able to read Saturday night, in the world in winter, a short story by DM Fraser found in a book that’s out of print, in a library I don’t have a card for.

How and ever, I could journey out to the library which closes in 41 mins. The journey would take 44 minutes.

Ever and how I can instead contemplate Saturday night in the world a reader.

Reading and the reader especially are two topics I have been humming on. Increasingly the focus on the writer and what the writer has to tell us beyond the books they write (which sometimes admittedly tell us very little but )… recently we had writers (amongst others) asked whether or not they would be getting the flu shot, we have anthologies of writers regaling us on childbirth, I am awaiting the anthology by writers called how I take a breath. My query would be why writers would have the more interesting stories on giving birth, over say, the rest of the population. In all likelihood they do not, so therefore it becomes an exercise in knowing more about or of the writer.And then like the grading of pears there’s the selection process of which writers we are going to hear more about. And who will be appointed as ambassadour of what?

Par example: we have certain writers appointed as writers who write about the city, especially here where the city (Vancouver)  is constantly trying to oxygenate its presence on the page. ‘m here, huff puff, I’m here. What qualifies you on the page as writing about the city? Is it that you mention the streets?

From the writer’s pov this demand to be a purveyor of advice and insight (aka brand writer) they are also now required to provide active counselling to the audience of writers attending their readings. How do I do what it is you have done? How is it done? Rather than what have you done?

Where has the reader gone?

The other night I met a reader in a kitchen and it was such a blessed relief. I could cross examine him, he informed me on so much about Bataille. He handed me books.

Reading well requires time, application, and an appetite. And or multitasking. One can read by listening. One can walk and read, with a bit of practice. Indeed walking is a perfect analogy ..  I am particularly curious about the solitary reader though. And would like to hear much more about the solitary reader in any area of life. One place turning to writers can assist the solitary reader is to create more stations on the tubemap.  Reading out from a particular writer. Sometimes letters and journals contain lists and references to texts that were read by particular writers. It would be more useful to have an anthology that contained this kind of information rather than how I got over my dilemma with itchy toes. Writers are often a solitary reader therefore I am not sure why if we are curious about writers we aren’t asking them solely about reading.

I keep trying to find (write) my way into essays that are accessible, essays about books (in whatever form online, off, recorded, in print, out of print,), but they don’t quite work yet, they hum yes, but are too anecdotal, too fractured or insufficient. I think I need to hear more from the solitary reader. And must endeavour to do so.

Leave a Reply