Maria Sledmere

What are your favorite lines from your pieces featured in The Ginger Collect?

Little did they know about her subaquatic double life, the places she went when she closed her eyes.


Who is your most beloved author?

I’m not sure how to answer this one so I’ll go with the guy I’ve written most about; whose novels I’ve reread the most in recent years. Tom McCarthy. He’s totally geeky about continental theory and modernist literature—loves his Joyce, Kafka, Derrida, Blanchot. He writes about all this stuff in such a lyric, stylish and sensual way that encompasses matter as much as meaning (and the space between). I love how his literature effortlessly weaves philosophy and fiction without seeming too highbrow about it. I got to meet him at the Edinburgh Book Festival and he cracked a Blondie joke at my name, which was cool.


Do you have a favorite quote from this author?

“Literature has to remain frustrating — to withhold something, remain incomplete — or it’s not literature anymore, but rather entertainment, edification or interpretation. That’s literature’s USP: staying unresolved, keeping its most vital messages unspoken, creating a zone of noise where everything and nothing is said at the same time.” I think that’s a pretty comprehensive manifesto statement for most good writing.


What inspired your piece?

There was this weird period in my life where I kept noticing girls with blue hair—they were cropping up everywhere. I started wondering why you would go full blue. Several years ago I dyed my hair ginger and never went back; it genuinely feels like my spirit colour and life has been richer and warmer since. There was something about elementals, the association of colour and mythology. The reification of colour as symbol (see Bright Eyes, ‘True Blue’). I’m also drawn to the murkier elements of sensory existence. I value dreams as escape spaces as much as traces for unconscious exploration. Something about a desire for oblivion being close to bliss—the reason we take drugs or do drastic things to our bodies. The association with liquidity and femininity; possibilities for metamorphosis in water. I wrote this piece in several forms before settling on a more stripped-back flash fiction style; I think I needed the space to explore the dream-world first, but then leave only the tip of the iceberg.


You can read Maria Sledmere’s piece in Issue Three of The Ginger Collect: Cordelia.

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