The Interview by Christopher Silvester – Important Questions

The Interview is written by Christopher Silvester. It is an excerpt taken from his introduction to the Penguin Book of Interviews. Do celebrities like to be interviewed? Some celebrities have expressed their views about interviews. Most of them condemn their being interviewed.

Important Questions with Answers

Q. What are some of the positive views on interviews?

Ans. Some people think that in its highest form an interview is a source of truth and an art in its practice. Many people consider it a supremely serviceable medium of communication. Our impressions of the people are created by their interviews. So interviewer holds a position of unprecedented power and influence.

Q. Why do most celebrity writers despise being interviewed?

Ans. Most celebrity writers despise being interviewed because they think it is an intrusion into their lives. They think that the interview somehow diminishes them. V.S. Naipaul feels that some people are wounded by interviews and lose a part of themselves. Rudyard Kipling said that interviewing was immoral. He called it cowardly or vile.

Q. What is the belief in some primitive cultures about being photographed?

Ans. Some primate cultures believed that if one takes a photographic portrait of somebody. Then one is stealing that person’s soul.

Q. What do you understand by the expression “thumbprints on his, windpipe” ?

Ans. The expression “thumbprints on his windpipe’ refers to the feeling of suffocation or strangulation.

Q. Who, in today’s world, is our chief source of information about personalities?

Ans. In today’s world, the interviewer” is our chief source of information about personalities.

Q. Do you think Umberto Eco likes being interviewed? Give reasons for your opinion.

Ans. Yes, we feel that Umberto Eco likes being interviewed. For, in all his answers, he speaks at great length while answering the questions of the interviewer. At no stage, it appears that he wants to get rid of the interviewer. This .is a clear indication that Umberto Eco likes being interviewed.

Q. How does Eco find the time to write so much?

Ans. Eco finds the time to write so much for two reasons. First, as he writes about the same things but in different manners. He has some philosophical interests and he pursues them in his academic work and also in his novels. Even his books for children are about non-violence and peace. The second thing is that he does not let go any time wasted. For example while he was waiting for his interviewer, he had written an article. He calls this time ‘interstice’ and makes full use of it.

Q. What was distinctive about Eco’s academic writing style?

Ans. The distinctive quality of Eco’s academic writing style is his love for narration. Even his dissertation for a doctoral degree was presented as a narrative. This makes even the serious things look interesting.

Q. Did Umberto Eco consider himself a novelist first or an academic scholar?

Ans. Umberto Eco considered himself an academic scholar first. He participates in academic conferences and not in meetings of Pen clubs and writers. He writes novels only when he is not having an academic pursuit at the time. He says “I am a professor who writes novels on Sundays”.

Q. What is the reason for the huge success of the novel. The Name of the Rose?

Ans. The reason for the huge success of the novel ‘The Name of the Rose’ is a mystery. However Eco feels that it might have been because of its timings. Had it been published ten years earlier or ten years after, it might not have succeeded so well, he feels.

Q. What are some of the positive views on interviews?

Ans. Following are some of the Positive views on interviews: (i) The interview has become a commonplam of journalism. (ii) In its highest form, an interview is a source of truth and, in practice, it is an art. (iii) An interview is a supremely serviceable medium of communication.

Q. What do most celebrated writers despise their being interviewed?

Ans. Most celebrated writers despise their being interviewed because of the following reasons: (i) They think that interview is an unjustified intrusion into their private lives. (ii) They feel that interview diminishes thern.

Q. What is the belief in some primitive cultures about being photographed?

Ans. The belief in some primitive cultures is it one takes a photo of somebody, then one is stealing that person’s soul.

Q. What is the chief source of information in today’s world about personalities?

Ans. In today’s world our chief source of information about personalities is interview. We get most vivid impressions of our contemporaries through interviews.

Q. When was the interview invented?

Ans. The interview was invented over 130 years ago.

Q. Why do the opinions of the interview vary considerably?

Ans. Thousands of famous persons have been interviewed over the years. Some of them have been repeated. So the opinions of the interview vary considerably.

Q. What does V.S. Naipaul feel about interviews?

Ans. V.S. Naipaul feels that some people are wounded by interviews and lose a part of themselves.

Q. Who is Lewis Carrol? What did he say about the horror of the interviewer?

Ans. Lewis Carrol is the creator of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. He was horrified of the interviewer and he never consented to be interviewed.

Q. Why did Rudyard Kipling refuse to be interviewed?

Ans. Rudyard Kipling refused to be interviewed because according to him it immoral. It was a crime. It was an offence of assault on his person. It was cowardly and vile. No respectable man would ask it.

Q. What do you understand by the expression ‘The interviewing ordeal’?

Ans. The expression ‘the interviewing ordeal’ implies that when person gives an interview he has to undergo a painful experience.

Q. Is Rudyard Kipling practically right in his assertion for interview?

Ans. No, Rudyard Kipling is not practically right in his assertion for interview. He perpetrated an assault of interview on Mark Twain only a few years before.

Q. Who is Umberto Eco? What does he do on Sundays ?

Ans. Umberto is a professor at the University of Bologna in Italy. He writes novels on Sundays.

Q. What works had already acquired a formidable reputation for Umberto Eco as a scholar before he began to write fiction?

Ans. His ideas on semiotics (the story of signs), literary interpretation, and medieval aesthetics had already acquired a profound reputation for Umberto Eco as a scholar before he began to write fiction.

Q. What do you understand by “The Name of the Rose’? What achievement did it bring to its author?

Ans. ‘The Name of the Rose’ is a novel writteri by Umberto Eco. It acquired the equivalent pr intellectual superstardom for its author.

Q. What did once David Lodge remark?

Ans. David Lodge, an English novelist and academic, once remarked, “I can’t understarid how one man can do all the things he (Eco) does.”

Q. What are interstices, according to Umberto Eco?

Ans. According to Umberto Eco, interstices are the empty spaces in the universe, in all the atoms and in our lives. If we eliminate these empty paces from the universe and from within the atoms, the universe will become as big as his fist.

Q. Which is, according to Mukund, is a marked departure from academic style?

Ans. According to Mukund, Eco’s style is a marked departure from academic style. His scholarly work has a certain playful and personal quality about it which is a marked departure from a regular academic style.

Q. Who was Roland Barthes? Why was he always frustrated?

Ans. Roland Barthes was a friend of Professor Umberto Eco. He was always frustrated that he was an essayist and not a novelist. He wanted to do creative writing one day or the other day.

Q. Why is Umberto Eco not satisfied to be only a novelist?

Ans. Umberto Eco is not satisfied to be only a novelist because he is a university professor. He participates in academic conferences. He identifies himself with the academic community.

Q. What genres are represented in the novel ‘The Name of the Rose’?

Ans. The novel ‘The Name of the Rose’ represents a detective yarn at one level, and metaphysics, theology and medieval history on the other level.

Q. Why are journalists and publishers puzzled?

Ans. Journalists and publishers are puzzled because they believe that people like trash and don’t like difficult reading experiences.

Q. Why was Umberto Eco given an advance for only 3,000 copies of his novel by his American publisher?

Ans. His American publisher gave Umberto Eco an advance for only 3,000 copies of his novel because she didn’t expect to sell more than 3,000 copies of his novel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *