Happy Birthday, Patrick McCabe, born 27 March 1955
- Putting in the hours is everything, and it always was. I was never a great believer in waiting for the muse to arrive, although I’m not a complete work horse in that sense. When you put in those hours and establish a rhythm, that muscle gets developed, and that leaves space clear for the muse to work in. That happens rarely enough, but when it does happen you know what to do with it.
- I got up every morning at half seven and I just wrote. I wasn’t expecting anything. It didn’t matter if it wasn’t published. Just write the real story and I swear to God I thought nobody would read it. I didn’t make that many concessions to the reader. It just sweeps along.
- I think that is a kind of conduit or filter through which I refract or push my imaginative view of what the world is all about. Being born, living and dying - it is mayhem, chaos and madness.
- I’m so relaxed about writing now, because my kids are older now, and it’s late enough in my career to know that nobody has been damaged by any of it. And I don’t expect anything of the literary world.
- What a dreadful, terrifying, mysterious place the world is, and always will be. After all the stuff we’ve discovered, the duck is still out there, going ‘quack’.
- If your character is repugnant in all respects, nobody can read it. Having some narrative tricks in this day and age is essential, at least for the first ten pages.
- Everything’s been done before. Whatever the ins and outs, there’s nothing new – at all.
McCabe is an Irish writer known for his dark novels set in contemporary Ireland. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice - for The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto. Both have been turned into films.
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