Category Archives: Interviews

Janet Malcolm, The Art of Nonfiction No. 4

“Perhaps even stronger than the room’s aura of commanding originality is its sense of absences, its evocation of all the things that have been excluded, have been found wanting, have failed to capture the interest of Rosalind Krauss—which are most of the things in the world, the things of ‘good taste’ and fashion and consumerism, the things we see in stores and in one another’s houses. No one can leave this loft without feeling a little rebuked: one’s own house suddenly seems cluttered, inchoate, banal.” – Janet Malcolm

Interviewed by Katie Roiphe

Though I will make the trip up the elevator to Janet Malcolm’s stately town- house apartment, overlooking Gramercy Park, three times in the course of this unusual interview, the substance of our exchange will take place by e-mail, over three and a half months.

The reason for this is that Janet Malcolm is more naturally the describer than the described. It is nearly impossible to imagine the masterful interviewer chatting unguardedly into a tape recorder, and indeed she prefers not to imagine it. She has agreed to do the interview but only by e-mail: in this way she has politely refused the role of subject and reverted to the more comfortable role of writer. She will be writing her answers—and, to be honest, tinkering gently with the phrasing of some of my questions.

more here

izzy & the talking cure

my friend Isidore Block roamed about Midtown and Central Park for forty years, offering wishes and verse to passersby. this piece was recorded a year before he died.

flattery ≠ JLG is 80 today

david maysles interview, 1968

talking about Salesman to Jack Kroll (thanks to Ryley)

The Struggling Artist

on the art of listening & book learning

or, when will david addington be indicted as a war criminal? together with john yoo, douglas feith, dick cheney, jay bybee, george bush, et al.? read Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side to see how we got to gitmo.

(funny how the CIA adapted the methods of the north koreans –which produced stunningly false confessions, such as frank schwable‘s– as a way of eliciting supposedly true ones, eviscerating the u.s. constitution in the process.)


for more information about the sources & methods of the CIA’s policies of prisoner abuse & torture, refer to the KUBARK manual from 1963, and its companion piece The human resource exploitation manual, from 1983, passed along to our friends in Central & Latin America who were growing increasingly weary of the democratic process.



john yoo’s march, 2003 torture memorandum

david lynch’s interview project

it’s just gone live here

of postcolonialism

Achille Mbembe

The faults in Europe’s universalism, especially when confronting its colonial history, have nurtured a variety of critical perspectives in the West. Talking to French magazine Esprit, theorist Achille Mbembe says that postcolonial thinking looks so original because it developed in a transnational, eclectic vein from the very start. This enabled it to combine the anti-imperialist tradition with the fledgling subaltern studies and a specific take on globalization, he says. Continue Reading →

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