Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Project for a New Mythology/Fisher King Press Interview

Interview with Jackson Fisher of Fisher King Press by Quinn of The Project for a New Mythology:

I don’t want to sound like I’m singing the praises of MySpace, but this interview is the result of a MySpace search. I was searching for fellow writers, editors, and publishers and found Fisher King Press (there’s also the official website where you can get submission guidelines and read some more about the press). I added FKP as a friend and went about my business. After an exchange of emails, I learned that we had a shared interest in Joseph Campbell. Because, I think, of this shared philosophical bent, Jackson suggested we collaborate on something. I suggested an interview, so here we are.

Quinn: The Fisher King, in legend, is also sometimes called the Wounded King. In some cases, the Fisher King and the Wounded King are separate characters, often a father and son, both with wounds to the legs or groin that limit their mobility and cause their kingdom to become wastelands. In some of the stories, he received his wounds as punishment for pridefulness. The Fisher King is also the guardian of the Holy Grail. He is healed when Percival arrives in search of the Grail. Considering your interest in and knowledge of mythology, it seems unlikely that the name for your press is only an interesting spin off of your surname. Does the story of the Fisher King hold any special meaning for you, and does it inform the mission of your press in some way?

Jackson Fisher: Before I answer this question, I think it is important to note that the Fisher King was healed only after Percival returned a second time and was able ask the vital question: ‘Whom does the Grail serve?’ Now, to me, the Fisher King myth is about redeeming the unresolved psychological complexes that have been handed down from our forefathers and foremothers, complexes that for unknown reasons they were unable to resolve within themselves. I’m speaking of wounded psychological heritages that were passed down by forefathers who were never able to ask that famous question: ‘Whom does the Grail serve?’ I view the Grail as a symbol of Self, or of psychological wholeness that is only achieved by asking this famous question - which is symbolic of dialoguing and developing a relationship with one’s own soul. It is in the creative process that I believe writers as well as readers find the wounded or lost parts of ourselves that have been scattered along the wayside as we adapt and try to function in this fast paced world of commerce and convention. It is in the creative process that archetypal energies and patterns, or universal themes, are reintroduced into our era as present day myths, and it is here that we can find the very essence of our beings, individually and in turn collectively. And this is what Fisher King Press is about, seeking out these brave souls and introducing their stories to the rest of the world.