Culture & Conversation

The Formality of Simile and Common Parlance

I know of Klara through her work with the Résonance Reading Series, a new monthly that she curates and hosts. Klara studied English literature at McGill University, focusing on 20th century poetry. Her writing practice includes what she calls ‘visual stanzas,’ which are taken from experiments in photography, collage and projection.

Klara also experiments with classical music collaborations. She is currently working on a new piece with Isis Giraldo‘s jazz ensemble here in Montreal.

Hello. Who are you?


What have you been reading?


I read books either because I think I should have read them, or because I feel the love. Lately:

The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson
LA by Hélène Cixous
The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector
La Vie Sexuelle de Catherine M. by Catherine Millet
Isobel and Emile by Alan Reed
Ai Weiwei’s Blog by Ai Weiwei
The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
Heroines by Kate Zambreno

Why do you write?

Once I had a conversation with a writer:

Writer: I was interviewing a writer and I asked her why she writes. She answered that she wrote because she couldn’t not write.

Me: And you, do you also feel you can’t not write?

Writer: Oh no, this kind of romanticism turns me off!

Me: Then you turn me off.

Where is your favorite place to write?

Writing isn’t only the act of sitting down somewhere with my laptop. I write everywhere. Some of my best lines arise during long walks. The same used to happen taking a very hot bath (my current bathroom sadly does not have a bath). Yet I guess there is a certain ritual, which I follow to do some more concentrated writing, or rather rewriting of bits and pieces I accumulate while living – this usually involves open days without commitment to the outside world, a slow over-brewed pot of coffee, and stewing unbathed in pajamas at my desk.

What books or authors have impacted you the most?

I keep staring at my bookshelf, wishing some titles would answer for themselves.

What is good writing?

Writing that inspires me to write in turn.

Do you have any favorite words?

This question seems to demand a quirky answer, strange words nobody ever hears. But no, I don’t have favourite words. If I did, that would insert a form of verbal privilege or self-censoring into my writing. Words that I use most, however, might just be “like” and “kind of”. These little words add uncertainty to anything I say and write. Or they combine the formality of simile with common parlance.

Could you recommend 3 books?

Manhattan: Letters from Prehistory by Hélène Cixous

Red Doc> by Anne Carson

Go to museums and art galleries, never forget hieroglyphics.

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