The Questionless Books Interview: Novelist Jonathan Bennett
Inspired by the Proust Questionnaire, The Questionless Books Interview gets a host of lit-types (authors, editors, publishers, publicists, designers, booksellerss, readers, bloggers, journalists, etc.) to finish a bunch of statements about the state of literature and the "future of books".
Jonathan Bennett's latest book is Entitlement: a novel. He is the author of three previous books including the critically acclaimed novel, After Battersea Park, a book of poetry, Here is my street, this tree I planted, and a collection of short stories, Verandah People, which was runner up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. He is a winner of the K.M. Hunter Artists' Award in Literature. Jonathan has a new book of poems, Civil and Civic, forthcoming in spring 2011. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.
I am...Jonathan Bennett
I am known to...some readers here and there as a fiction writer and poet.
I do this in...Peterborough, Ontario.
I do this because...I am trying to answer this question.
I do this when I...feel the urge, or have a deadline, or want to kill some time, or think I likely should.
The way I do this is...by executing a plan, or diverting from a plan, or with no plan at all.
At its core, a Writer is...someone who can survive the silence of being between books.
As opposed to an Author, who is...a name on a spine, a face on a dust jacket.
A Writer is responsible for...every word they write.
As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for...what their reader has read.
At its core, Publishing is...slow to arrive then over as it begins.
As opposed to Editing, which is...an awkward dance, different with different partners, and different every time.
A Publisher should always...pay for the drinks.
As opposed to an Editor, who should always...take to the grave how much work they really did on X's manuscript.
A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is...three years away from being any good.
As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is...three years away from being remaindered.
A Manuscript should always...be read aloud privately in its entirety.
As opposed to a Book, which should always...have a few sections that are choice to read aloud in public.
At its core, Bookselling is...matchmaking.
As opposed to Book Marketing, which is...mostly silliness.
The smallest unit of narrative is...a period.
To be a Book a thing must be...named as such.
The biggest reason to be scared of the future is...its tense.
The biggest reason to anticipate the future is...because it can be edited.
In the future we will all...be a saved search.
At his/her core, a Reader is...at fault.