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Douglas Coupland:’ I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on an aircraft’

No more clock-based passivity from the novelist, who disrupted a 20 -year routine with a decision to embrace the unpredictable

I used to be a trained morning columnist, but in the spring of 2010 I was visiting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and watched thousands of workers in robins egg blue jumpsuits constructing the gear necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau motivated in me a gentle realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake situations up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is ordeal when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I tighten emotion into as few paroles as possible not just on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a vehicle at 50 miles an hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting terms that may or may not come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here appearing nostalgic for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my brand-new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my penning. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual publish daylight, I have no specific answer, only a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do often of my writing on airplanes. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these statements on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not nasty superstar of soon-to-end Schengen-era statelessness the kind of transnational fluidity so accurately touted by Monocle magazine a headspace where all the men wear slim-fit robe and all the women in little black garments go back to the part from the Embassy function to do some late night C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of sea with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God developed ice cubes .

Two: I do often of my writing in hotel rooms, especially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive landed and am now in the St Petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design choices perhaps attained( in the best possible sense) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn chamber most writers know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones anticipating. First you situate a scorched dirt do-not-disturb on your email note( autoreply: Im dead and hence unable to reply to your email) and second, hide the mobile phone in the desk drawer and its almost as good as being on a plane. Nobody reached among you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both the processes of globalization and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by demonstrating students, the chambers now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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