Novelist, essayist and cultural commentator Michael Bracewell is the author of six novels and three works of non-fiction, including 'England Is Mine' (1997) and 'Perfect Tense' (2000). He writes extensively on contemporary art, and is a regular contributor to frieze magazine. His most recent book 'The Space Between: Collected Writings on Art' - (2012) is published by Ridinghouse.
1 What is your favourite surface?
That of the walls of a recently re-plastered and repainted room: a smooth coolness. Or freshly fallen snow.
2 In what weather do you think best and why?
Overcast, mild and blustery; also dazzlingly sunny winter stillness, late morning to mid-afternoon.
3 Describe your favourite meal?
When done well, fish and chips. Or kedgeree.
4 What qualities do you most admire in an object?
Aesthetic first, and then a degree of inscrutability that seems to make an object more defined as itself, rather than as an acquiescent player within a broader collective. I very much admire antiquities that now exist as fragments, and in their time worn state – the sheen of age, spear or shrapnel wounds in the marble. The sheer force of Roman statuary is so compelling to the viewer. I am particularly turned on by the notion of using low forms as the agents of high ideas.
5 What is your first olfactory memory?
I suspect it is the memory of damp autumn leaves – a suburban memory.
6 What fictitious place would you most like to visit?
7 What do you like the smell of.
Coffee, nail polish, wood smoke, freesias, coriander, the edge of a ploughed field after a rain shower, patchouli…
8 Recount your last remembered dream?
Too fragmentary to narrate: more an accretion of extremely vivid moods, the combined effect of which was threatening and disorienting.
9 How should a table sound?
10 What piece of art would you most like to live with?
This changes daily. At the moment (20.38 UK time 01.10.13) Ferdinand von Wright: In the Garden of Haminalahti, c. 1856-57.
11 Which sense disturbs you most frequently?
12 Which sense would you miss the most?
13 What song or piece of music best expresses your mood today?
‘Golden Slumbers’ by The Beatles.
14 What is your favorite view from any window?
The Swiss Alps from the Danny Kaye suite of the Vals Therme and Spa.