Irvine Welsh Interview: Advice to the young

Irvine Welsh, Scottish author of the best-selling cult novel Trainspotting, is reluctant to advise young writers and would rather look for advice from them, knowing that his younger self would probably be dissatisfied with him. Find out more in this short video.

As a writer, Welsh argues, you have to balance between two quite contradictory things: Spending a lot of time alone, but also immersing yourself in the world. This, he continues, requires self-knowledge as well as self-confidence: “You’ve got to have a huge ego, because you’ve got to believe that you’ve got something worth saying.” Humility, however, is also essential in order to “get past yourself and tell the story.” Finally, Welsh emphasizes that artists must remember how lucky they are to be able to do what they do, and that if you enjoy it, your exuberance will come across in the writing: “Just enjoy the fuck out of it, basically.”

Irvine Welsh (b.1958) is a Scottish novelist, short story writer and screen- and playwright, who has been dubbed ‘the poet laureate of the chemical generation’. Welsh, whose work is characterized by a raw Scots dialect and brutal depictions of Edinburgh life, shot to fame with the publication of ‘Trainspotting’ in 1993 – the book became a worldwide phenomenon and has sold almost 1 million copies in the UK alone. Welsh is the author of several novels and short-story collections including ‘The Acid House’ (1994), ‘Marabou Stork Nightmares’ (1995), ‘Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance’ (1996) – which became the first paperback original to go straight at No1 on the Sunday Times bestseller list –, ‘Filth’ (1998), ‘Glue’ (2001), ‘Porno’ (2002), ‘The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs’ (2006), ‘Skagboys’ (2012), ‘The Blade Artist’ (2016) and ‘Dead Men’s Trousers’ (2018). Several of his novels have been adapted into plays and films. Welsh, who also occasionally works as a DJ, currently lives in Dublin and Miami. For more see:

Irvine Welsh was interviewed by Christian Lund in October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Camera: Miguel de Zuviría & Nicanor Montes

Sound: Tomás Guiñazú

Edited by: Klaus Elmer

Produced by: Christian Lund

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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