Wednesday, November 10, 2004

"...by that definition, mine is frigid."

Knight, Christopher J., Ed. "The New York State Writers Tapes: William Gaddis." Contemporary Literature 42.4 (2001): 667-693.

I offer a few excerpts from this article (let me know if you want a pdf of it) which transcribes from a lectures and Q&As Gaddis made in 1990, 1993, and 1994:

"I generally think of experimental work as work which can fail and probably does, but shows good intentions. Whereas when I finish my work, I think it's the way I want it, and it's not an experiment. It's a complete, completed… scientific enterprise." (669)

"I don't know if Marshall McLuhan is a name that is much heard anymore… a hot medium like television has high definition… the viewer needs to bring little to his participation… a cool medium, such as a book… has a low definition. It provides less information, leaving much of the experience to be filled in by the reader. Cool media are high in participation or completion by the audience. So by that definition, mine is frigid." (670)

He speaks highly of Dostoyevsky and Twain, and recounts his amusement at a three-man con job to rob him of his money on a bus.

Most of it is on JR and A Frolic of His Own.

Also, a downloadable interview with Malcolm Bradbury (32 minutes).

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