John Scott (author)

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John Scott (born 1948 in Littlehampton, England) is an Australian author. His novels Before I Wake and The Architect were both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.


  • I don't see myself as experimenting in any conscious way, it's perhaps that certain books require different densities of language.
  • I have a backlog of novels which I would love to be working on and would be working on if I were not obliged to hold down a full time job.
  • I suppose everything about one's self is recontextualised in an alien environment.
  • I think the twentieth century should have taught us how 'civilisation' is the thinnest of veneers. I was reading something last year where a state torturer said it would only take him about two weeks to 'train' any one of us to willingly do the same job.
  • If I had the luxury of working as a full time writer, I think you would see novels appearing on a much more regular, and frequent, basis.
  • In my books I might hold the mirror to my own face. If others would like to borrow the mirror, they're welcome. The books aren't there to accuse others - merely to raise issues and keep the debates alive.
  • It seems we are capable of immense love and loyalty, and as capable of deceit and atrocity. It's probably this shocking ambivalence that makes us unique.
  • My work is known by too few people for me to be remembered as a writer - that is, beyond those dedicated souls (bless them) who have followed the oeuvre through its various stages. To be realistic, when they and the last of my friends have died, I doubt I shall be remembered at all.
  • Poetry is a double-edged sword. You learn to use language at its most intense - but this is far too intense for prose fiction. I've been teaching myself to progressively strip the 'poetry' away - the bulk of The Architect is told in very simple prose.
  • The Architect is just one of a series of works which examine the confrontation of innocence and experience, illustrating the complex ethics of power that exist between reader and writer, critic and artist, the human and the divine.
  • The older I get, the more I seek to use a plain prose style, concentrating more on story.
  • These days - with the decline of the traditional churches - I'm concerned about where we obtain some form of moral direction.

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