The Paris Review Interviews Vol I, II, and III

4122mb3qdfl_sl500_aa240_Do you like author interviews? I do, but not always. Mostly they are just plain dull. The fact is most journalists have no idea what ask so they just pull handfuls of same old questions like those boorish Hollywood behind the scenes.

Salman Rushdie said in a conversation with Orhan Pamuk at The New Yorker festival that he often says contradictory things to different journalists and that no one notices it because nobody reads interviews or takes them seriously. To some extent not even academics. In my department, most people take the idea of “death of the author” as an excuse to skip reading what authors say about their own work. If you simply take the claim as the death of author(ity), then interviews can be quite fun, some, not all. If I were to interview someone like Rushdie I would for instance like to talk about comics, and graphic novels, rather than home and exile, or if he could consider joining a protest against occupation of Palestine without mentioning religion. I would ask him what does he think about the catastrophic filmatization of The Spirit by Frank Miller from which I have hard time recovering. Miller, on the other hand, I would not ask him about comics but for instance how does the irony really work in the image of one of the only non-Jewish character being black and dressed as a Nazi at one point? How does the double message really work there? Or perhaps how could the super-hero-as-fascist theme of The Dark Knight turns into a modern ideology of stupid citizens who need protection from themselves in the recent film?

This is why I want to recommend the three collections of interviews by The Paris Review with the 20th Century icons of penmanship . I cannot vouch that all the conversations are brilliant, or that the questions are always top notch. The good parts are when the authors, oozing their excentricity, start answering some imaginary question, or their more imaginative reinterpretation of a stupid question. It is a good source for fancy and funny quotes to impress…well not sure who to impress, but worth checking out.

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2 Responses to The Paris Review Interviews Vol I, II, and III

  1. angie says:

    Just stopping by to say hey!

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