Guest Post ~ Author #Interview – Mathias B. Freese
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Aging and aged man who continues to deny his death by writing. Awareness can be a bitch, for it is hard to be a human being. Of a philosophical mind, Eastern thought and Existentialism, are the twin stallions I ride in the Colosseum. Nine books have written me for they are the collective wisdom of my unruly unconscious, the only real aquifer of the writer.
In Babette’s Feast Isak Dinesen says it best: “Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best.” She also wrote that “An artist is never poor.” If you take these two Cyrano white plumes and insert them in your cap as a writer, you will not go astray for too long.
In my time I have been a lover, a jackass, unaware, indifferent, feeling and emotive, lost, grounded and now at this late time in my life, somewhat wise. Life is a fool’s errand run by someone else.
You write in several genres. Which genre is your favorite, and why is that?
I tend to write literary short stories and they serve as a good training ground for the leap into novels. I like surreal fiction that combines lie and fact. In Soap I wrote about Hitler’s underwear, of how it is secretly sold and auctioned. In Piss Pieta I have Michelangelo urinating on his creations as a kind of anointment. I never ask my unconscious about its sources. I trust them implicitly. If Kafka can write a whole story about a bug, I can do what I want to do, for I am headstrong with considerable drive and an abundance of awareness, the secondary gain of having been a passive observer as a child. What good is it to write if you are closed and constricted, unaware and not free. Your literary works will be strangled.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?
Why a pseudonym? What is the purpose of that? This is who I am. This is what I say. I need not cover up my awareness for cultural reasons.
Do you see writing as a sort of spiritual experience?
I know that expensive watches have what is known as “complications,” gizmos to know about the moon and so on. I just never think about a scene being complicated. In another way, I may have a hard time expressing something or imagining the finer details of a cloak or chest, but I simply don’t work that way. I am an autodidact who does not outline or plot, who rides the wild flowing mane of the unconscious. I think cataracts; it pours out of me and I follow the aimless flow through the jungle underbrush until it ends or gathers or huddles beneath scrub. In Again. Again and Again, my latest book, I have a chapter called Vade Mecum in which I express almost all of my ideas about writing – usage, grammar, syntax, details, et al.
Out of the many books you have written and published, what was the most complicated scene to write and why?
Everything I write is about me heavily disguised and often not disguised; all of my writing is repair work, I just finished shingling the roof, and that took decades. Since I am a bit of a curmudgeon, have you detected the slant of all these questions as they seem to evolve from millions of questions of writers throughout the ages? I bridle at the restrictions, and so should you if you are a writer of some grit and some salt. Write and then kick the bucket. There is a cemetery in the Hamptons on Long Island. A famous writer is buried there. His marker reads: JAMES JONES. I like his editing!
If you were running the 100-yard dash with a new writer, what writing wisdom would you bestow upon them before reaching the 100-yard mark?
Never quit. Try to discover the
awakening of intelligence within yourself. Do not struggle into
awareness, but allow it to sneak up upon you like age itself; evolve. I
wrote: A therapist once opined that I was on a spiritual journey. I
bridled at the interpretation. I think not, I said.
For me, a spiritual search was a fool’s errand. I rather wait for my evolving self to wade into awareness, an awakening. It is subtle, and nuanced, and it is how I evolve.
I have no destination. I have the moment, this one, now, here. AGAIN. Again and Again deals with this in many different ways. And I became aware of all that when the book was finished.
Do you ever think that you will stop writing? Please explain why or why not.
I will stop writing when profoundly infirm or palsied. However, in my mind, if my body allows, I will be thinking, considering, postulating, and profoundly considering the state of my being before I become stellar soot. I imagine I suffer from the passion of mind – and soul. For me one task of life is to decondition oneself, for all societies, to cite Krishnamurti, are essentially corrupt. Emancipate yourself and your prose will sing.
Have you started working on something new, or are you reworking earlier material?
After my latest book I lay fallow, purposefully so, to allow the aquifer to fill up. I will probably pick up with a science fantasy I wrote when I was in my forties; three stories from that are published in my new book. In 1984 one story was published in a major science fiction magazine. So, after more than five decades I would close with ten books. My son will not inherit golf clubs; he will inherit a special kind of treasure.
Is there anything more that you would like to share with us today?
In Munch’s The Scream, you can hear the shout-scream; I like to view it as the artist taking the biblical ram’s horn and signalling to the world that he, that she is here. PRESENT. Work on your shout, colleague.