Uptown interviews Jonathan Ball

Jonathan Ball recently spoke to Quentin Mills-Fenn of Uptown about poetry, theatre and his new book Clockfire.

'An author sits on stage, signing books with his own blood until the fluid runs out.

That’s one of the scenarios in Clockfire (Coach House Books) a genre-bending collection of bizarre play synopses.

Jonathan Ball is the creator of these little scenarios and he wants to knock readers around some ...

'They’re plays,' Ball says, 'but you can’t perform most of them, and so they’re poems, but they’re written in prose, so they read like miniature short stories, though they often lack dramatic structure. Blurring these genre boundaries helps to develop the book’s theme of pushing against limits.

'Conventional theatre — and conventional art in general, especially conventional poetry — seems to me to lack ‘clocks’ and ‘fire,’' Ball adds. 'It fails to offer immediate, visceral, meaningful and immersive engagement. We watch plays and read books and view paintings and so on with a level of passive detachment, to amuse ourselves.

'Great art takes us by the throat and does violence to preconceived notions, ideas about what constitutes the possible.'

Click here to read the whole story.

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