Monday, February 20, 2006

My dear friend & college roommate

Amy Davidson (no relation, but it's fun having the same last name) interviews David Remnick at the New Yorker website; the conversation covers a wide range of topics related to his piece on Hamas in this week's issue of the magazine.

1 comment:

  1. Do you ever consider it somewhat irritating when it's obvious that editing was done post-interview to clean up the language, even allowing writers, from what I understand of the process, to not just correct but add in material and flesh out answers. The whole point of an interview, as I see it, even in esteemed, high-profile magazines like the New Yorker, where the standard for polish and presentation may be higher, is as a vehicle for extemporaneous dialogue, interjections, unsureness in answers, a certain adversarialness, emotional exigency - maybe even sudden epihanies and dead wrong remarks. I would've made this comment sooner, but this is the first interview you've linked (which I read) where I couldsense a blatant use of hindsight revision to omit the simple imperfections of people's natural, spontaneous utterances.

    Maybe I'm wrong and the corrections are not as extensive as they seem, but his responses come off as a little too pad, a little too rehearsed.

    I guess my major objection is that interviews are supposed to connect the human with the work or give him/her roving room to self-explicate. All the professional proprieties and scrupulosities should be dispensed with (a taking off of the suit and the title should occur) in order to portray not humility so much but to expose the readers to at least a readily identifiable kinship with someone maybe beyond their expertise or learning but not beyond their humanity.