John Gould chats to Literary Goon about dark matter, an obituary for an obituary writer, haikus and koans, and his latest collection of sudden stories, The End of Me.
In The End of Me, Gould follows characters who are faced with their finite nature, and their “imprisonment in selfhood”. In one story he depicts the crisis of a death metal musician, while another features a poisoned baby girl who anticipates being reincarnated as an elephant. While composing these stories he was inspired by the words of Susan Sontag: “Too abstract: death. Too concrete: me.”
If all of this sounds heavy, don’t worry: The End of Me has plenty of levity as well. For instance, his story “Pulse” is about a young man who, “inspired by the samurai thing of summing up life in a poem at the moment of death”, tries to do exactly that through Twitter — but finds himself tempted to cheat. Why not write the tweet beforehand, so he has it pre-prepared for the big moment?
You can see the full interview at Literary Goon, here.