Monday, January 17, 2011

I liked these interviews. I learned nothing from these interviews. However, Jonathan Franzen somehow manages to be a colossal douchebag in one moment, like when referring to his ex-wife as "the person I was having sex with at the time" and also be so beautifully relatable in the next moment when he was talking about making Literature for the masses. As for Louise...I'd like to check out her bookstore some time. Maybe hang out. Have a beer. Would be a blast.

And that's about it. These should be more informative right? These are the Paris Review interviews for goodness sake, so I should feel edified, learned even. And I didn't. Probably my fault and I didn't read it that closely...come to think of it of the Paris Review interviews I've read (and I've read a few, not a lot, but you know, more than 5), I couldn't point to a specific thing I've learned from any of them, except I liked the Barry Hannah & Marilynne Robinson interviews (big surprise there).

Anyway, from the Erdrich & Franzen ones, mostly what I noticed was the stark difference in the interview styles between the two. Like Franzen's seemed rehearsed to a point and stiff. The questions never followed up on one another and didn't flow forward. I could imagine the interviewer awkwardly saying, "um" shuffling notecards and then asking another question from the litany of unconnected stuff without actually engaging or responding to what Franzen said. It reminded me of how a grade schooler would interview their principal. The Erdrich one was fun. There was banter almost and it seemed like talk, which was refreshing after the Franzen interview.

1 comment:

  1. Birchbark Books is a pretty cool bookstore. It's off the beaten path so it's a destination, of sorts. I went there for a Post Secret event and asked Louise to sign my copy of "The Last Report On the Miracles at Little No Horse." She looked at it funny and asked, "Where did you get this? This is the UK edition. Even I don't have a copy of this."