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Totally Lee Rourke

Lee Rourke interviewed by Totally Dublin:

I’m obsessed with the writings of Jacques Derrida and with the poet Francis Ponge, in particular a work of his called Soap, where he treats poetry as if it were an experiment in a laboratory. He wants to approach the event of the object through language and its cleansing. He’s obsessed with paring language down in this sense, with not being poetic, with not being ‘literary’. And this correlates with what Derrida says in his reading of Hegel in Glas.

As readers, he says, we’re like a dredging machine that plunges into the water and lifts up the silt and the shit and the mud. What falls away in language is that quantity we can’t really come to terms with; that’s what we’re left with. It ties in with Wallace Stevens and that unanswerable imagination that we’re always trying to reach. The varroa destructor bit for me is the glitch, the gremlin, the part where language destroys or expunges itself. We can’t really reach those moments of beautiful imagination because language is there eating away and destroying everything we’re trying to achieve.


I like the idea of detritus, going back again to Derrida and what’s left behind. For me, this endless search to create a grand unifying narrative is a loser’s game because it’s simply not possible to piece everything back together with language. Language lacks that ability. I prefer to have fun with the shards, with the detritus and the broken bits. I attempt to put them together, but I know there’ll be jagged edges and gaping voids in what I’m trying to piece together. And that’s perfectly fine by me.

Lee Rourke’s Varroa Destructor will be available soon from 3:AM Press.

First posted: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013.

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