Anne Carson: I think the only thing I know about writing is: start in the middle. Wherever you're doing, start in the middle. Starting at the beginning is just ridiculously frightening. And of course, the end, you know, will be there when you arrive.

Robert Currie: You know, I was going to say, and this is inside information, I don't think you have ritual, but you have the luxury of having space, where you always have the writing available. You have a studio, not here [in Iceland], but in America, which has a desk for each of those practices: you have your drawing desk, your writing desk, and your translating desk.

AC: That’s the topography.

RC: Yeah, you've made a topography in which the ideas can happen instead of —

AC: I think it's important to have a topography, where you have a desk or a table or something where you can leave the work out. If you work on the dining room table, and you have to put it away every time the family wants to have supper, you’ll just go mad. You’ll lose your orientation. You have to be able to leave it out somewhere.

AC: Oh, Short Talks is a book I wrote that exists as a bunch of little essays. When I made it first, it was a bunch of drawings with titles, and I thought the titles were interesting, yes, but the drawings were more interesting to me. When I showed them to other people, they thought that the drawings were kind of irrelevant, and the titles were kind of neat. So, I began to expand the titles and the titles became talks, and the talks became a book of talks. The drawings were lost, which always made me sad, but I mean, they weren't that good, I had to agree. It would have been a kind of a dopey book. Anyway, that was the direction of my thinking.

Anne Carson