I write poems when I feel they need to be written: An online interview with Dean Pasch

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Dean Pasch born in England, lives in Munich, Germany. His work has featured in Mannequin Envy, Niederngasse, Tiferet and Quill & Parchment.

Dupur Mitra: What are you working on now?

Dean Pasch: Being asked about my work as a fiction writer came out of the blue. I do write fiction, it is true – though the borders between fiction and non-fiction are often very blurry I feel. Most of my current writing activity is wrapped up with expression in the form of poetry. I am working on a poem about Rembrandt – but I rarely have writing plans as such. I write poems when I feel they need to be written. Listening to that need is part of the art.

Dupur Mitra: What inspired you to become a writer?

Dean Pasch: I think I became a writer when I was in my teens and the impulse back then was an awareness of words’ magic – their draw on the imagination, on the spirit on the swirling mass of emotion and thought that inscribes our daily lives as well as offering a spring board to the places we cherish as not daily. It was then I wrote song lyrics and I guess poetry – out of a need to process what was taking place around me and making me feel upset and troubled. Over the years that same impulse has continued to exert an effect upon me and force me to explore words in the form of stories and poetry and essays.

Dupur Mitra: Could you explain your own particular writing process, including schedule, rituals and methods?

Dean Pasch: It’s mostly about falling into a pseudo-trance, a state whereby I can access my inner life and marry it to words. A state where words escape their purely functional state and bleed and sweat and lend themselves to expression. I love rituals but I no longer have any regarding the creative process aside from what I just said. When the need to write is there I try and write by entering that state I described. I have been writing for over three decades now and feel, on reflection, the key ritual is following the urge to write and hopefully that urge is a near daily event. With me the need to write is not daily and in many respects I actively resist writing (but that’s another story) – however, the fundamental basis to writing as a writer is to do it as often as possible and irrespective of moods, feeling inspired (or not) and knowing the process is an important part of the thing we leave when we feel it is finished (or at least abandoned).

Dupur Mitra: What inspires and influences your writing the most?

Dean Pasch: Life, being alive, absorbing and filtering everything around me and feeling that pass through me and travel within. I don’t much care for the word ‘inspiration’ as such – every day is an opportunity to create and explore – whether that means writing or making a picture, cooking or having an engaged conversation with another. My influences in terms of writing are many – but the names that spring to mind are Beckett, Pinter, Satre, Peckinpah (his screenplays), Chandler and a plethora of poets.

Dupur Mitra: Do you write your stories according to a pre-organized plotline?

Dean Pasch: I used to when I wrote scripts. With my writing these days there are no plot-lines or first act, second act stuff. But I am aware this would quite possibly change were I to work on a more elaborate story. On the other hand I suspect I never will and, for example, does a short story really need an a priori plot / structure? Not for me it doesn’t.

Dupur Mitra: What was the best piece of advice you’ve received with respect to the art of writing?

Dean Pasch: To write. Day in day out and not be overly attached to outcome.

Dupur Mitra: How did you implement it into your work?

Dean Pasch: Wrote and with as little attachment to the outcome as possible

Dupur Mitra: What’s your favorite novel?

Dean Pasch: That’s not a question that I can answer. But I am glad I have read Chandler’s novels, Dostoevsky’s novels, Stendhal’s novels and Satre’s Nausea left a lasting impression on me. But add another hundred author’s and a particular novel of theirs and that would be thebetter answer.

Dupur Mitra: Your favorite book of criticism or nonfiction?

Dean Pasch: In my youth I loved Colin Wilson’s ‘The Outsider’. The one that always resonates is ‘The Mirror and the Lamp (M.H. Abrams).

Dupur Mitra: Can you talk about your new novel?

Dean Pasch: No – that would be difficult because there isn’t one to talk about.

Dupur Mitra: Which type of fiction do you like more and why?

Dean Pasch: I am completely open for everything. We know when we are gripped by a piece of writing – through its choices of words, dialogue, rhythm and that mysterious relationship between form and content. At the moment I am reading Elmore Leonard and a writer cannot be any better served than by reading Mr Leornard – for example.

Dupur Mitra: What advice would you give beginning writers?

Dean Pasch: Write every day and be honest with the writing, don’t think about good and bad but do re-read at some point and be brutal – what does not feel right is wrong and sometimes what is half-wrong could be really good and will take work. Take others’ comments openly and graciously and try and develop a self-sustaining critical faculty by reading lots and writing more.

 

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