Today we talk about An ‘Incompleat’ Angler Or,‘First catch your flounder’, a book by Paul Schimmel, published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Paul Schimmel to get to know him better, what prompted him to write of his book An ‘Incompleat’ Angler Or,‘First catch your flounder’, as well as what he would recommend to readers who know they need help but are afraid to ask.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where and when did you find the inspiration to write your debut collection of poems?
In My debut collection of poems ‘Reading the Water’ was many years in the making. In order to write poetry, at least good poetry, it is necessary to read much poetry especially the greats: I have written and had published papers on W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot, and also took inspiration from the work of Wallace Stevens and others. I also read widely in New Zealand poetry especially James K. Baxter, Brian Turner and Michael Harlow. I had been attempting to write poems for many years and many of the poems in this collection have a long ancestry, but only in recent years had the collection really taken shape. I also found inspiration in the natural world of rivers, waterways and birdlife. I have copied below the last stanza of my poem Reading the water: the title poem of my book.
we are always
reading the water
longing to recover
language before words
- What do you want to communicate to readers with this work?
‘An “Incompleat” Angler or First catch your flounder’ was a joy to write. It is a collection of true fishing yarns, philosophical reflections on the art, a couple of short stories, and watery and fishy poems. I am communicating a lifetimes experience of fishing in rivers, lakes and the sea. Many fishing types are thoughtless about what they do, often leaving rubbish behind them. While I mostly do not practice ‘catch and release’, I consider myself an environmental and thoughtful fisherman. I want to communicate, even to non-fisher men and women something of the pleasure and challenge of fishing, and also the pleasure of being in the natural environment. As the English poet Ted Hughes has written about fishing with a float: ‘Those of you who have never done it, might think it is a drowsy pass time. It is in anything but that.’ Fishing with a fly defies the possibility of drowsiness or boredom. Your senses are intensely alert as you scan the water for trout or ‘rises’ which indicate the presence of trout. As you will read, I prefer to fish to sighted trout.
- How did you choose the title of your book?
My title is ‘An “Incompleat” Angler or first catch your flounder’ This has two sources. The first is Izaak Walton’s famous book of fishing instruction ‘The Compleat Angler’ first published in 1653 by Richard Marriot in London. It has had many reprints over the years. Walton was born in Stratford but moved to London when he was in his teens. The Compleat Angler reflects the author’s connections with the River Dove In Central England. It is a classic being the first instructional fishing text, although modern readers, including myself, may find it a little, pedantic and tedious. I hope readers may find my book more engaging, but of course It will never sell so many copies. The second part of my title is taken from a fishing yarn I wrote probably forty years ago which was published in a New Zealand fishing magazine. I have forgotten the title of this magazine and the date of publication. I went fishing with Joanne, my girlfriend of the time, and we had bizarre experiences trying to catch flounder. This story is added to the end of the book as an appendix and followed by a cartoon drawn by Joanne.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
It is always a great and satisfying pleasure to have a book accepted for publication. There is not much to add on this score.
- Are you working on a new writing project, you can tell us about?
I am working on two new writing projects at present. The first is a specialist collection of my papers on psychoanalysis, literature and philosophy titled Someone Saved my Life Today. This has been accepted by International Psychoanalytic Books [IPBooks] in New York. The second is titled ‘Travels Extraordinaire’ which is a collection of true encounters and travels from around the world, but the majority is taken from my three trips in Central America: Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. I have tried to make the accounts from Central America as gripping and engaging as possible, but they tend towards ‘deadly’ seriousness, including a knife attack in Antigua Guatemala. I have leavened the volume with some humour from a much earlier time travelling with my parents in Europe including the accounts of Monsieur Joli a hotel proprietor in Ambazac France, The saluting gendarme, and Bert Orgy and his wife Mrs Orgy in an English Bed and Breakfast. This book needs further work before submission to a publisher.
Europe Books thanks the author Paul Schimmel once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book An ‘Incompleat’ Angler Or,‘First catch your flounder’. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish that this book opens your knowledge to the world of fishing, what brings both men and women to fish and what are the challenges they want to face while fishing. There is certainly a strong pleasure in being in contact with natural environments, but there is certainly much more. Let’s find out together!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this very interesting reading!