Thursday, 3 July 2014

Blog 3

Edinburgh-born writer Irvine Welsh came to fame with his first novel, 'Trainspotting' in 1993, which was turned into a cult film directed by Danny Boyle, starring Ewan McGregor. If you haven't seen it, that's madness and I suggest you make it your priority for today. 

YOURE BETTER OFF HAVING FORTUNE THAN FAME. Fame is a kind of weakness for people who have nothing. You don't see rich businessmen trying to get their picture in the paper. People on TV talent shows are on top of the world one day, open a supermarket the next; then they're just a bum on a barstool. That sort of recognition is a horrible tax.  

YOU DONT HAVE TO BE OFF YOUR TITS TO TALK TO PEOPLE. Turns out you can just have a cup of tea and a laugh. 

LIVE EVERYDAY LIKE ITS YOUR LAST AND ONE DAY IT WILL BE. In my drug phase I was out of my brains, but if I woke up the next day it was as if it never happened. When you're young you don't have a sense of your own mortality. You wake up when your friends start dying. 

IM NOT A CRAZY WEE MAVERICK. I'm just no good with rules and regulations.  

DRUGS ARE IN A LOT OF PEOPLES EMOTIONAL VOCABULARY. The people I knew in the drug scene often suffered from depression or abuse. Addiction was a way of covering the problems up. Those people tended not to get over their drug addiction in the way that the people, like me who took them for reckless adventures, did.

YOU CANT BE AN IMPOSTER ALL YOUR LIFE. I wasn't good in school, or with authority, or with being told what to do, but I learnt how to approximate how other people thought I should behave. It's a useful skill. 

WRITING CAN BE TAUGHT. The desire and the will to do it, cannot. 

POLITICS IS ABOUT DIFFERENCE. It's a shame so many people have become inured to that. You don't have that in England at the moment. In Scotland, the independence debate has been a positive creative force because the country has been reinventing itself.  

I HAVE MANAGED TO REMAIN SATISFYINGLY IMMATURE. My formative years were in the paste seventies and eighties. I had a longer gestation period than most. 

EVERYONE HAS OBSESSIONS. I've always veered from one extreme to another, from waister to fitness fanatic. Life's about learning to manage these obsessions.  

LIVING THE LIFE OF A WRITER MEANS YOU'RE EITHER STARVING IN A GARRET OR YOU'RE LIVING ANVERY LEISURED LIFE. My lifestyle isn't middle class; it's upper class. I don't mean that in a smug way. I don't have the burden of getting up and going to work. Writing is what I'd be doing anyway. That makes me feel very, very rich.  

SOME PEOPLE THINK I'VE SOLD OUT. If someone's born working class and they've done well you're either going to think "Good on them" or "Fuck them". When I go home to Leith, Edinburgh and I go out, I get the piss ripped out of me for half an hour. If I get into it and give it back, everyone's relaxed. 

PITY IS THE WORST REVENGE. I spotted Margaret Thatcher at the Dorchester a few years ago. I was going to take the piss out of her, but she looked like a ghost. This woman was lost. I pitied her. She would have hated that more than hysteria after her death. 

I'VE BEEN EVERY CONCEIVABLE KIND OF DRUG. After 'Trainspotting', fans used to slip me drugs at book readings. I guess they wanted to get fucked up with someone they perceived to be a celebrity to validate their lives. What are you going to do with a big pile of drugs if you're staying in a hotel room by yourself? Take a bunch and hit your head against the wall? No, you flush it down the toilet. They don't do it anymore. I'm glad they've stopped.  

Irvine Welsh's new novel, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins was published May 1. 

Hell yer.

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