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An Interview with Irene Marques: “Writing for me is something fundamental. I cannot live without it.”

Irene MarquesIn a recent interview with Creative Lifestyle Blog, Irene Marques, discusses the writing process, the definition of great art, and the fundamental role that writing plays in her life.

Irene Marques’ The Circular Incantation was published by Guernica Editions in Fall 2013.

Marques explains that writing is a force that drives her forward.

“Writing for me is something fundamental. I cannot live without it. As soon as I learned how to read and write – when I was seven in grade one in the small village I was born in in Portugal – I knew that writing was my call. It was that “thing” that gave me the most pleasure.”

She explains that, since a young age, writing gave her a sense of being able to “create and see and feel things way beyond [her] immediate milieu.”

“Given that I grew up pretty much without toys, I think I might have taken writing even with more vigour, assertiveness and desire. It is as if writing replaced the toys that I had not had: with words I could now build and imagine things ad infinitum, be forever playful…”

Furthermore, Marques defines the meaning of the Portuguese term ‘saduade’, and elaborates on its relevance to her writing.

“In Portuguese we have this word saudade, a word that basically means a yearning, a melancholia, a sadness even, but a sadness that also brings you happiness… You can enter this state through memory recollection or memory selection, through fado music and even through crying, convulsive crying, because crying, is much more than deep sadness, it allows a resolution, a confrontation, a joining of timeframes, a holistic dwelling of sorts, a cleansing of the soul that is quite healthy.”

She explains that writing, likewise, allows her to enter this state:

“Writing for me also allows all this: it joins the dissected, it beautifies life, it changes memory, it creates beauty, it allows entrance into the sublime, it renews the world and reality, making me feel like a little girl in awe with life again: excited at the novelty of the world before me, a world that I can make much better than it is.”

Marques goes on to describe “the zone” that a writer enters as he writes. She explains what being in the zone feels like for her:

“I experienced “this zone” quite intensely and steadily when I wrote my last novel…I wrote the novel in about six months. At the time I was not working on anything else and so I was able to enter the process of writing very deeply – without being interrupted – and that felt amazing, complete, intense… I remember I would write for about 2 to 4 hours a day and then I would feel ecstatic for the rest of the day as if nothing else mattered―as if I had the absolute certainty that writing was my only real call and that my life was perfectly fulfilling by doing just that.”

When asked about how she would define ‘great art’, Marques replies:

“I think an artist must stay true to his/her artistic call and not allow the commercial world to dictate his/her aesthetic. I think this is more and more difficult nowadays and artists of all kinds feel pressured to produce works that sell – leading to artistic poverty and monoculture.”

Posted in Fiction, Interviews, Poetry.

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