Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Julian Gough Podcast [June 2007]

WHAT would Charles Darwin have made of Julian Gough? The great thinker, master of evolution and natural selection. Would he have found a room, a paragraph or even a foot note, in the Origin of the Species for the likes of Gough?
If so, it would most likely have come in a chapter titled, ‘Thoughts on the Random Mutation’. Not that I’m suggesting that Ireland’s latest trailblazing avant garde author is some sort of literary missing link. On the contrary, Gough represents an alteration, an almost radical change of direction that is absolutely essential for progress, whether social, biological or indeed literary.
The only question left is one of genetics, dominant or regressive.
“Because it’s an unusual mad kind of book we had trouble getting shops to understand what we were doing or getting publishers to understand what we were doing in the first place. But when I won the National Short Story Prize with the prologue to the book then that changed absolutely everything.
“People began to look at the book in a different way, all of it’s vices suddenly became virtues - the little grey fella turns out to be a swan after all. Nobody want to be the fool who stands up and says ‘this is brilliant’ and be the only person saying it. So when a few Booker Prize winners say it’s good then it becomes safe...