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Saleh Razzouk

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Society And Modernism - An Interview With Joseph Young
by Saleh Razzouk   
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Last edited: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

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Interview with Joseph Young

Society And Modernism - An Interview With Joseph Young

Interviewed by : Saleh Razzouk

Joseph Young a native of Baltimore, Maryland works as a freelance editor. His writings appeared widely on the web and in print. Links to some of his work and other projects are available at :

It proved difficult to catch with him, this young of twenty some springs, who travels among peninsulas inhabited with dust of hopes and mills works with wind force.

On his return , kit on shoulders to sort out the sorrows of pens and white sheets of papers, he could manage to make answers on my questions, with an exception, tiny one.. no politics. He said, a smile on lips, sorry, politics is out of range.

From her he took of along a little worm and softy chat.

By the way, he thinks dogs are favorable animals on earth, but he lives with a cat at home, another deviation of reality from thoughts.

This is the interview.


1 – in your stories you echo the naturalists with some shadows of existentialism . in the united states modernization was of importance, remember Faulkner , John Barthes, etc.. any comment.

A : I've never considered that my writing might have naturalistic tendencies, but yes, I can see some elements of existentialism. If I am conscious of any school of literature when I write, the closest may be the stance or attitude of haiku or perhaps other types of traditional Asian poetry. I enjoy attempting to observe simply and through that observation try to reveal something about the slippery essence of life or experience. Although at times my writing can also be rather baroque or absurdist too. Of course, having grown up on them, the modernist writers of from the US and Britain have had a huge influence on me.

2 – what is your next publication. The idea. The structure. How is different from your past experience.

A : My most recent publication was in the magazine Alice Blue ( It's a series of eight very short pieces collected under the title "Poems on Small Dogs." Despite the title, the editors decided to publish it under the Fiction heading. I really enjoy flirting with the edges between poetry and fiction. It was also a series that, when writing it, I tried to take on a sort of haiku stance as I considered various people and scenes in my neighborhood.

3 – what do you read among the established and among your colleagues. For what reason.

A : I read a pretty wide variety of literature, both poetry and prose, contemporary and older stuff. Recently I read a James Baldwin novel, a book of essays by John Berger, the latest volume from McSweeny's magazine, poetry from Stuart Dybek, and I'm always reading from online magazines to see what friends and colleagues of mine are publishing.

4- foreign literature. What do you like of it most.

A : It's hard for me to think about literature being domestic or foreign anymore since to pick up a literary journal or browse an online magazine is usually to take a tour of the world, writing-wise. I regularly read stuff from all over the English speaking world, and more and more translations appear in the journals as well. Great literature is now easily available from Australia to India to China to Jordan to Canada.

* Thanks a lot, Joseph. See you…

February – 2006


Web Site: interview with Joseph Young

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