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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Interview: Christopher Barzak on "The Creation of Birds"

Aqueduct Press
ISBN: 978-1-61976-014-1 (13 digit)
Publication Date: 8/1/2012
(paperback) 96 pages

QIt's been a month since I first read the collection. I suspect my ranking them must have been in the order they appeared, based on the wild strangenesses encountered, but I reversed this, in part, after I reread it. I accepted that I didn't understand the relationship at first ("The Creation of Birds"), but on the second read l wondered what was up: Was their relationship like that of Zeus and Hera, where we mere mortals cannot fathom what holds them together? Or am I missing the boat?
BarzakI think the comparison with Zeus and Hera is a useful one here. When I was creating the relationship between the Star Catcher and The Bird Woman in "The Creation of Birds" I wanted to achieve two things, specifically, in the dynamics of their affair. Thing 1 was to create an air of epic or mythic archetypal drama between them, as if their relationship was something cosmic and beyond human love affairs. Thing 2 was to use details that were immediately relatable to contemporary human love dramas. In other words, I wanted their relationship to feel both archetypal and familiar to readers at the same time. So their relationship has mythic qualities and mundane qualities as well.

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