Knack Writer Profile: Hugo Branley

Hugo was born quite young and has no real memories of how it happened. He’s basically winged it ever since. He first realised he wanted to be a writer at the tender age of eight, after reading the back of a Cornflakes packet and deciding he could write better copy than the talentless cereal-industry hack who had penned such an insipid ode to a mid-range maize-based breakfast food. In conversation, he often describes himself as a spiritual person, being under the false impression that all this refers to is his fondness for whiskey.

Why do you write?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t really know. Often it just  feels as though there are things can only really be expressed in a written medium – things that don’t really live on the breath, that need to be captured on the page and read and re-read in order for them to really emerge in their own inner truth. That, and I accidently bought a bumper pack of 200 biros from Officeworks the other week and I’d feel really bad if they went to waste. 

How would you describe your work?
Inconsistent and often over-punctuated, but basically readable. I’d recommend it anyway, without too much hesitation. This piece is essentially a meditation on transitoriness, on the way time does not flow by smoothly when we experience, but pools in moments and in certain junctures of events. The way natural cycles, of seasons, ripening, preparation and consumption are irreducibly singular; the way they are eternally repeatable and yet indefinably unique. I guess the implicit contrast that I’m looking to bring out is with the way we ordinarily approach our time: as regulated, even, and under our control. I’m hoping to bring out this tension by writing only in terms of the fragmentary and momentary – the complex and meaningful instants that Joyce called “epiphanies.”

What's your party trick?
I’ve got this great one I do that involves half-a-glass of water, an apple, three paperclips and a Sumatran tiger.

 What are you looking forward to in 2015?
New Years Eve. No other day of the year keeps you in suspense for as long.