Smoking with Joseph Young

Read the Story December 15, 2006

From where did you get the “voice” for each of these sections?

I looked at the photographs of each respective photographer for a couple days and something in them, plus what bit I knew about each photographer, suggested the voices and images and scenes. By the way, thanks a lot again for the interesting interview.

What is the relationship between photographers and their subjects? Is there anything to be gained from reflecting upon a similar relationship between writers and their subjects?

I’m not a photographer so I can’t really answer definitively, but I suspect that like writers they are attracted to certain subjects and kinds of subjects over and over, as well as the way they treat those subjects, which comes to define their style.

“A certain terrible light.” Although I know little about photography, what I do know has to do with light and dark, positive and negative. What about photography captures your interest?—and what do you see when you see that “certain terrible light?”

I think the same things that capture my interest about any art capture my interest about photography: the way the photographers see and select and order the world. Photography is interesting in that it actually uses bits of the world to do that. That certain terrible light—I think you’re right, contrast, dark and light, wet and black, dry and white.

What can you tell us about “Photographers” that might enlighten readers to aspects of this terrific piece that might otherwise be missed?

I don’t know. How much can you know? I’m not sure someone should be concerned.

The 2005 Edge Annual World Question ( asked a question that the BBC called “fantastically stimulating.” One year later, we ask you this same question: “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?”

Love is what we need.

About the Author:

Joseph Young writes microfiction in Baltimore. His work has recently appeared in Lamination Colony, Wigleaf, and FRiGG, and he has work forthcoming in Cake Train and Grey Sparrow Journal. A volume of his microfiction, "Easter Rabbit," will be published by Publishing Genius Press in December 2009.

About the Artist:

René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist (21 November 1898 - 15 August 1967).