INTERVIEW: CAROLE MASO
Your work is often described as "experimental". What does this term mean to you, and how useful is it?
When I think of experiments, I think of a laboratory and a blue flame, and applying a line of questions, ideas, hunches-- making imaginative lateral associations, seeking alternatives, thinking with great depth and breadth and also with deep intuition. I think of flexibility, openness, room for accident, indeterminacy. I think of an engrossing and exhilarating investigation, exciting, complex, unpredictable, allowing for beauty of the real, and the beauty of the imagined and of chance, the result unknown. All of this appeals to me greatly.
There is such elegance, power and intelligence in your sentences. What do you think a well-written sentence can accomplish that no other form of expression cannot?
I think a sentence can if allowed carry emotional and intellectual states as they flee, as they come and go, an escaping essence difficult to hold in other ways. In this way I think the sentence can work as a phrase of music does, sounding something large and elusive in us. Alternatively it can provide sometimes a stability, an essence, a "moment of being." Unlike music the sentence also of course carries language with all its potential for meaning making and memory traces and association with it as well.
I probably love the accretion of sentences most--those patterns, that shimmer, that resonance.
What advice would you give a beginning writer about the importance of taking risks in their writing?
Risk keeps a writing project and also the writer vulnerable, open, off-guard, constantly changing, new, intoxicated, deeply immersed, in the midst of great adventure and also a great mystery. Writing then becomes a window into things otherwise off-limits: ultimate freedom and ultimate possibility. Who could resist this?
CAROLE MASO is the author of ten books. Her latest, Mother & Child, a novel, will be published in the Spring by Counterpoint Press.