Owen Schalk

Owen Schalk

Owen Schalk is a writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He grew up in the countryside surrounded by rural emptiness, abandoned houses, and farm-loving German Canadians who tried and failed to instil their love of farming in him.  He found his artistic curiosity while reading the usual canon, and found his voice while reading Pynchon, DeLillo, Bolaño, and other authors who write with a critical eye for dominant social and political doctrines.

Owen’s short stories have been distributed by a variety of print and online publishers, including The Paragon Press, The Anti-Languorous Project, and whimperbang. He has written political analyses for Protean Magazine, People’s Voice, and the Canada Files, and is a regular contributor to Canadian Dimension.  Additionally, his academic work has been rewarded with a number of scholarships and awards in Manitoba.

Owen is currently seeking publication for The Burnt City, a novella about the parallel rise of neo-Romanticism and fascism in nineteenth-century Europe, and a novel called Prince of Carnations, which is a fictional retelling of the life of False Dmitri II during the Russian Time of Troubles.

 

Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?

A: Walter Benjamin or Pier Paolo Pasolini, both of whom foresaw the rise of the modern consumer society and tried to warn us in their own incomparable ways.

 

Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?

A: One of my most creatively formative memories is of my grandfather gifting me his copy of A Confederacy of Dunces when I was eight or nine years old. Though at the time I was too young to understand much of it, I have valued that book (and literature of the American South) very highly ever since.

 

Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)

A: ‘Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests / I’ll dig with it’ – Seamus Heaney, ‘Digging’