Mansfield Questionnaire: Hera Lindsay Bird
Hera Lindsay Bird responds to our slightly irreverent literary questionnaire, inspired by Katherine Mansfield.
Write a prelude to your life in one sentence.
Birth Control is For Wimps: The Hera Lindsay Bird Story.
Would your father have accepted your plea for musical training?
He’s letting me start recorder lessons when I hit thirty.
Do you speak French?
If you were to, at any stage, become a ghost who would you haunt?
Haley Joel Osment.
Do you keep ‘great complaining notebooks’ a.k.a. journals?
Garden parties. Yes or no?
Where have you had the best time of your life?
Where have you had the worst time of your life?
You only get one and I’m saving it for later.
If you were to use a nom de plume, what would it be?
Hera Lindsay Bird.
Virginia Woolf wrote ‘I was jealous of her writing — the only writing I have ever been jealous of.’ Who are you most jealous of?
Professional figure skaters.
Where are you in the family birth order?
First but not least.
You left home and then:
Became another cog in the soulless machine of capitalism.
What is your favourite short story?
Hemmingway’s six word masterpiece:
“jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams”
What was the last real letter you wrote?
Probably of resignation.
What brings you bliss?
‘Bliss’ is for selling yoghurt to lonely women.
How would you like to die?
I would like……………………not to die.
‘There is no twilight in our New Zealand days, but a curious half-hour when everything appears grotesque—it frightens—as though the savage spirit of the country walked abroad and sneered at what it saw.’ What are your feelings on New Zealand twilight?
God Katherine Mansfield must have been a drag at parties.
Has anyone ever said of you that you’re ‘a dangerous woman’?
No but I have been called an insufferable bitch.
Have you ever had an X-ray?
That’s a fascinating question, but I really have to...
Write a brief history of your eyesight:
I’m sorry Katherine, but I’ve just seen someone I...
Is there ‘the taint of the pioneer’ in your blood?
No! What you were saying earlier about the lilacs and the moonlight was really interesting, it’s just that...
‘I want to be REAL.’ True or false?
Don’t be like that Katherine………
oh come on…………
so you’re just going to ignore me now?
Just so you know
I just wanted one evening
That didn’t end with you passed out in some stranger’s rose garden
Or weeping on the tennis courts again
In Virginia’s fur coat
Whispering some mad fucking nonsense about the twilight
That’s all I’m saying
Whether or not you choose to take it on board is like
Totally up to you.