A brief tale of a conference attendee seeking escape from a stuffy meeting, "To Ipswich" is a beautifully rendered account of an individual's search for a life of deeper meaning.
Edward McWhinney lives in Cork, Ireland with his wife and son. His stories have appeared in many publications
including Cyphers, Barcelona Ink, Word Riot, Fiction on the Web, and Juked.
"To Ipswich" was published in Contrary Magazine (Spring 2012) where there is an index of McWhinney's work.
To read "To Ipswich" click here
TCR Story of the Month highlights an outstanding work of fiction published online within the preceding twelve-months.
TCR Chats with Edward McWhinney
A: On my seventh birthday I received a fountain pen, a bottle of ink and a hard backed notebook. I scribbled in that until my fourteenth birthday when a typewriter came my way.
Q: Where did you get the idea for "To Ipswich"?
A: I was on a short trip to London when I discovered that Ipswich was about an hour away by train. I knew that the Czech poet Ivan Blatny, whose book The Drug of Art, I carried with me, had spent time in Essex including some time in a hospital in Ipswich. I was also aware of W.G. Sebald's connection with that part of the world. I took off but by the time I got there I didn't know what to do. It was Saturday and the local football team, Ipswich Town were playing at 3 o'clock. At the time they were managed by Roy Keane from my hometown,so my literary pilgrimage turned into a sporting one.
Q: Who are some of your favorite classic authors?
A: Frank O'Connor, Joyce and Beckett, poets like Celan and Mandelstam, Elizabeth Bishop, anything with real emotion and honesty such as the notebooks of S.T. Coleridge, Kierkegaard and the diaries of Franz
Kafka, for example. Most of what I like to read is translated from foreign languages into English making me wish I could master about fifty languages. Translators such as David Magarshack, Constance Garnett, Willa and Edwin Muir, Michael Hoffman for translating Joseph Roth, those who re-wrote Thomas Bernhard in English and Michael Hulse among others for W.G. Sebald and now Susan Bernofsky for opening up Robert Walser. I'm still learning Spanish for the Hispanic writers.
A: I search for writers who break the rules, who don't fit into any one category and sometimes find them in online literary journals like Contrary and Word Riot and Juked who publish non-commercial writers. I like John Banville and Enrique Villa Matas translated by Nathan Dunne. But mostly the authors I go back to are no longer alive. I'm looking for a writer who falls mid-way between Beckett and Woody Allen, a modern day Charles Lamb or Robert Walser.
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