Interviewed by Rachel Wild

Read Robert Hirschfield’s nonfiction piece,  Romance at Odd Hours: A Story of Late Love

Rachel: What a lovely piece this is. What gave you the inspiration to write it?

Robert: Stories on a relationship tend to focus mainly on what it is or isn’t. I tried to focus on how it moves in time (or doesn’t), and what those moving parts are like.  I also enjoyed the idea of scandalizing people with the notion that the aged might also want to lay claim to the sanctified minefield of romance.

Julia and the narrator share a mutual attraction, but the narrator seems to focus more on their differences. Can you talk about this?

Did Julia feed you this question? It sounds suspiciously familiar. I guess I have always been struck, like a good outsider, by how different I seemed from others, and vice versa. Haiku is a form that works best when it underscores contrast. That’s probably why I am a writer of haiku.

I’ve read on the internet that you also write poetry.  Do you utilize this at all when you write prose?

Absolutely. In poetry, every line must be able to stand autonomously, yet blend in with every other line. I try to bring that approach to prose writing.

Who would be your dream writer (living or dead) to get shipwrecked on a desert island with?

The writer would have to be someone I feel wouldn’t bug me. Being stranded on a desert island would be stressful enough. I am tempted to say Yoel Hoffmann, my absurdist hero, who also translates haiku. But my choice would be Pico Iyer, contemplative travel writer and gentle propogandist for inner stillness and the art of “going nowhere.”

Thanks Robert, and congratulations on being published in The Forge.