Tom McCarthy, author of Remainder and Men in Space
Below is the fifth and final part of my week-long interview with Tom McCarthy:
Mark Thwaite: Are you dismayed by the current state of the world!?
Tom McCarthy: How could I not be? Beckett’s answer to this question was ‘Let it burn!’ – but then he has Vladimir in Waiting for Godot say ‘Was I sleeping, while the others suffered?’, which I think is the single best and most moving line ever written by any writer, ever. Everything’s political, ultimately – but I think good writing disengages from politics at a superficial level in order to experience it more profoundly.
MT: What are you writing now?
TM: Pathetically, my answer to this question is the same as it was when you last asked it over a year ago. I’m just under half way through a novel called C, which is about mourning, technology and matter. I’m writing it very slowly. It’s called C because it has crypts, cauls, call-signs, cocaine, cyanide and cysteine in it. And carbon: lots of carbon.
MT: Anything else you would like to say?
TM: Keep on keeping up the good work. RSB’s become a staple of my daily meander through cyberspace: the criticism, the links, it’s all good – apart from the announcements of various great writers’ and critics’ deaths, which I always read first on your site. Stop killing off our heroes!