Oct 7, 2007, 7:09 PM
Post #229 of 454
Great interview -- thanks for posting it. Not at all what I expected him to be like, from his occasional facial tick (where he grimaced after saying something he thought might be somewhat controversial) to his extreme self-consciousness, almost as though he is, himself, the embodiment of post-modernism... he attributes this to his nervousness about being on television, which I can buy to some extent. But yeah, one of the most interesting interviews I've seen in a long, long while. Very honest and confident in his own talent, but at the same time very insecure. A kind of paradox at work there, I think. Which, to me, makes him even that more interesting as an author.
And I think he does mention his time at Arizona in passing, in the context of his discussion of Blue Velvet, but he doesn't seem all that critical of his teachers, at least not in the way he is in the essay Junior Maas read. Found the transcript of it online (the CR interview); here it is:
DFW: I'm trying to think of a way so that this will have anything to do with what we've talked about before. Imagine you're a hyper-educated avant garde-ist in grad school learning to write.
DFW: The screen gets all fuzzy now as the viewer's invited to imagine this. Coming out of an avant garde tradition, I get to this grad school and at the grad school, turns out all the teachers are realists. They're not at all interested in post-modern avant garde stuff. Now, there's an interesting delusion going on here -- so they don't like my stuff. I believe that it's not because my stuff isn't good, but because they just don't happen to like this kind of esthetic.
In fact, known to them but unknown to me, the stuff was bad, was indeed bad. So in the middle of all this, hating the teachers, but hating them for exactly the wrong reason -- this was spring of 1986 -- I remember -- I remember who I went to see the movie with -- "Blue Velvet" comes out. "Blue Velvet" comes out.
I didn't pick up on any disingenuousness in his voice, so I can only assume his feelings on the matter had changed by the time he did the Charlie Rose thing.
Anyway, thanks again for posting it. I'm forwarding the link to a friend of mine who's a big DFW fan, just in case he hasn't seen it already.
(This post was edited by bennyprof on Oct 7, 2007, 7:15 PM)