What kind of name is Jean Bürlesk anyway?
- A fake one. Though very close to the original. According to research done by a family cousin, my last name originated from the Italian 'burla', meaning joke, prank or trick. That was too good an etymology to pass on, no matter its veracity. I therefore chose to underline it in my pen name. I chose the German version of the resulting qualifier because my first name is French, and I felt that as a Luxembourger I needed to acknowledge the Germanic part of my identity as well.
Where the hell is Luxembourg?
- Luxembourg is a small country between France, Germany and Belgium. We have our own language (Luxembourgish), but having always existed at the crossroads between two larger nations, we speak German and French as well. We then learn English in high school, meaning that every Luxembourger will speak a minimum of four languages. We are the World's only remaining Grand Duchy.
Wait, you speak four languages?
- Five, actually. También hablo español. I'd love to brag about it, but I have no real merit. We grow up using three languages on a daily basis. If you come from a monolingual country and have learned a second language, you've probably put a lot more effort into it than I ever had to for any of the languages I learned.
So why do you write in English?
- I just love the language. But I actually write in different languages. I have written in English, German, French and Luxembourgish, and I've occasionally used other languages as well, including some I don't actually speak.
So what are you, really? A genius or a madman?
- A madman. Definitely a madman.
Can I get anything of yours apart from 'The Pleasure of Drowning'?
- Not in a book form, no. Not right now. More will be forthcoming, but I'm afraid that most of my production thus far has consisted of plays, and if you do not reside in Luxembourg, you're unlikely to have seen any of them.
What if I have more questions?
- Feel free to hit me up on twitter or facebook. You'll find the links in the 'Contact' section. Who knows, your question might then end up enlarging this section as well.