Interview with Amy Gerstler
FZN: You said something about throwing out poems. Do you ever look back and feel unsatisfied with things you have written?
AG: I think that’s something that happens to almost everybody, that’s why you keep working, or one reason why you keep working. Also, it’s possible that’s an editing impulse. Another thing is hopefully one is always growing and changing as a writer or artist, I know that sounds completely dopey––and therefore you might not be as interested in what you’re thinking about now, what that work led to. And also, for me––I talk to other writers about this and I get varied opinions––but I don’t necessarily feel that one can turn to one’s own work for the same pleasures that one can get from reading other writers. And to expect that seems––maybe some writers can do that, maybe some writers can go back to their old work and be like “Wow! this is me? You know, this is just like reading Virginia Woolf!” I just think if you wrote it it’s a different relationship to the text, even if it’s older, than encountering the mind and heart and soul and literariness of someone else. So when you go back and look at old work and it doesn’t knock your socks off, I think there can be so many reasons for that. Sometimes you actually do want to revise it even if it has been published, sometimes you’ve just moved on, and sometimes it’s that––I don’t know, you don’t sit around reading yourself and what’s done. Your mind is on what you’re going to write, or what you’re working on now, you’re not THERE anymore.
Much more after the jump.