Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What's the Australian for "Wanker"?

Via the Colonel, an interview with Kurt Vonnegut executed by the clueless David Nason.

Early on in the interview, Nason admits he hadn't read a word of Vonnegut's new book until three days before the interview, then proceeds to offer a series of non-sequiturs and denigrating observations that appear to have nothing to do with the book anyway. It becomes apparent that Nason was hoping Vonnegut would be some sort of performing chimp who'd make him laugh out loud and roll on the floor in hysterics; instead, he encounters a depressed old man with a very black sense of humour. Like, has he NEVER read any Vonnegut before?

Some samples from this travesty:

"We meet three days later outside La Mediterrane restaurant, a writers' hang-out on Manhattan's East Side. Vonnegut lives just around the corner, close to the UN. Coincidentally, it's United Nations Day, a good enough reason, I think, to seek his opinion of the world body.

A Man Without a Country - a book I have now read - provides no insight on this. The only reference to the UN is a passing one as Vonnegut declares his secret love for a woman who works in a post office used by New York's diplomatic community."

If they'd met round the corner from Old Trafford, would he have asked Kurt about Manchester United and then complain that the new book offers "no insight into it"? What a tosser.

Or what about,

"Next I ask him about terrorism. It's not for any particular reason. It just seems a relevant thing to ask a writer who has seen war, who has written of war and who lives in New York City, where terrorism's horror is understood so well."

And after having asked a question for no particular reason he has the gall to complain that

"...as (the interview) continued, it became quite sad. Vonnegut has clearly reached a stage in his life where he just can't be bothered any more."

Vonnegut can't be bothered? What about Nason? What WAS the point of him turning up and what new insight has he offered into Vonnegut's work? That he's very glum and depressing and really ought to cheer up? Thanks a million, Dave. That chipper Aussie optimism is just what we need right now. And next time you see J. G. Ballard or Iain Banks, tell him to stop writing altogether and get out more.



Reidski said...

It's not awful, it's actually very very funny and no different whatsoever from any other interviews from the Saturday or Sunday newspapers.
They are all fucking pish!!!!

John said...

You just reminded me why I don't read the papers at the weekend.

That and all the fucking ads for birdfeeders.

Reidski said...

"ads for birdfeeders" - mmmm, I think I'll get some newspapers this weekend.