Alison Wells of www.writing.ie recently asked Stinging Fly editor, Declan Meade, a lot of questions about short stories, The Stinging Fly, the future of the magazine and a lot, lot more.
Writing.ie: When we promote Irish writing, what are we promoting, something identifiable in topic or style or just good writing from those who happen to be or live in Ireland?
Declan: I think there is definitely writing that is identifiably Irish and I think it’s really important that we should have access to it – as readers, or more generally as a society, or as a community. It’s important that we get to read and share our stories with one another. It’s important that we get to hear all the different stories and that we get to see all the different sides of the same story.
There’s a Joseph Brodsky quote I came across recently: ‘By itself reality per se isn’t worth a damn. It’s perception that promotes reality to meaning.’ There is definitely an Irish way of seeing things and it’s important that we capture that and celebrate it and hold on to it.
Equally though we need to be open to writing from elsewhere and what we can learn about ourselves and others from that. Good writing matters more than anything else, of course—and that has nothing whatsoever to do with where the writer is from. I’d certainly want for The Stinging Fly to be associated first and foremost with the publication and promotion of good writing.