An interview with Linda Carroli and Josephine Wilson

What time is it where you live?

Josephine: 13 hours behind where you live. Two hours behind where Linda lives.

Linda: two hours ahead of josephine. and time for the postman. i got a rejection letter from arts queensland in today's post. that means i didn't get a grant to do an online writing project i was planning. so it must be time for a change too.

Josephine: That's awful Linda. Fuck 'em.

What colour is the sky?

Josephine: Blue.

Linda: josephine and i might be living under the same sky because it's blue here too. brilliant blue.

Josephine: There's a cloud now. Do you have a cloud?

Linda: well this is brisbane and there is a storm brewing.

What is your favorite English word?

Josephine: I've always like the word 'Slab'. Syllabic. Slarbic.

Linda: 'phallologocentrism'. it's one of those impossible words which says so much and just never stops giving.

What is your favorite non-English word?

Josephine: Schiffo, or something like that. I think it means something disgusting in Milan. As in 'che schiffo!'

Linda: it's not a word, it's a name - 'habibe'. i think that's the best name!

What is your parents' greatest regret?

Josephine: Don't know - but their regret is the one thing they share.

Linda: i try not to speak for my parents. i can't even imagine what their regrets might be.

What is the first word you ever wrote?

Josephine: There is no such thing as the first word. I refuse the primal fantasy. However, I think it was "BLACKBIRD."

Linda: now that's hard. i agree with josephine about the 'primal fantasy' issue. something i remember writing and which took me an awful long time to get right was the word, 'paper'. in grade one, i spelled it with a double p.

What is your favourite part of the keyboard?

Josephine: The space bar. It is the unconscious of my keyboard. The Middle C.

Linda: The cursor arrows, they keep you moving.

What figure of speech troubles you the most?

Josephine: Metaphor. It won't stay put.

Linda: Platitudes. they make life bland. they say there's a platitude for every occasion but i just can't seem to match the right platitude to its occasion. someone dies and my likely response is to be something like 'that's life' or something inappropriate.

Are you afraid of death?

Josephine: Yes, because I don't know what it will look like.

Linda: i don't think i'm particularly afraid of it. it doesn't hurt does it?

So what are you afraid of?

Josephine: Loneliness.

Linda: fear. i know that's a cliche but i am afraid of fear. i'd love to be fearless, not heroic or anything, but just fearless.

Josephine: Fierce. It would be nice to be fierce.

Linda: or reckless.

What is your least favorite painting?

Josephine: I think it's by de Kooning. All eyes and cunts and teeth. At least we know what he was afraid of.

Linda: i don't know that it's my least favourite, but when i was in primary school i remember seeing a reproduction of 'saturn devouring his children' by goya. i actually think it was hanging on the wall in the school library. it freaked me out because it was such a dark and gruesome image. every time i see that painting, i shudder.

Ok, then what's the worst thing you ever did?

Josephine: I have to think about that one.

Linda: it might have been complicity with a girlfriend's web of deceit which involved all sorts of intrigue and subterfuge about 13 years ago. it was very complex. and at the end of it all, quite a lot of hurt feelings, broken relationships, shattered dreams, you know. in terms of damage, I think it was pretty extensive. i could tell you the story but i think even if i changed the names, it would be too transparent. you might have to wait for the book.

What do you think is the future of writing?

Josephine: Words

Linda: and the spaces between them ...

What's the best thing about collaboration?

Josephine: Having someone else to laugh at your bad jokes.

Linda: yeah and never having to say you're sorry.

Have you ever waited for a stranger on a street corner?

Josephine: Yes, and I had known him for at least 6 months.

Linda: no, but i've met a few strangers on street corners.