Charles Rzepka’s interviews with Elmore
Posted: 10 January 2011 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This should be…cool.

But after reading the first interview, I was a little underwhelmed…way too much Catholicism discussion imho. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, so don’t take it the wrong way. I just thought it got in the way of Elmore talking about his craft.
But I’m guessing that won’t be a recurring theme.

The reference about Robbie Daniels being born 100 years too late, there has to be some touchstones to that. I know I’ve read that about other EL characters.

Posted: 11 January 2011 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Years ago, I read an unedited transcript of a series of interviews with a star we all know and admire—including Elmore, coincidentally—that a friend was working on for Playboy. The final published interview was made up of maybe 10% of the total of the transcribed conversations my friend and the star had. Five pages of transcript might yield one short quote.

As indicated, this interview with Elmore was a long one, taking place over a number of sessions. Instead of editing the whole thing down to the kind of slick finished product we’re used to seeing, in Playboy and elsewhere, this guy seems to be publishing the verbatim transcript. It’s a ‘warts and all’ deal. Which I think is cool. It makes you a fly on the wall.

This guy wanted to exhaust the Catholicism angle. He thought it might have been important to Elmore’s writing. To wring the subject dry, to get the nugget, if there was one there to get, he had to probe the topic repeatedly, from all angles. That’s what this first interview segment is, a search for the Catholicism nugget.

Posted: 15 January 2011 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, LACrimAtty—that is indeed what I’m aiming at here, “warts and all,” although I think it will become clear as we go along that the warts are all mine, not EL’s!  As I learned while doing these interviews, and especially while editing them, there’s a fine line to be walked regarding what will interest everybody or anybody who’s a fan of EL and what will interest perhaps only a handful or one or two among the many.  Too much detail—including dead-ends, tangents, the interviewer’s speculations, and other odd bits and pieces—can be off-putting for the majority, but some of that material might also provide just the bit of information or insight that a single reader or scholar finds interesting or useful for his/her purposes.  I’m willing to risk boredom or indifference from many or most members if it increases the probability, even a little, of a direct hit for one or two with a special topical interest in or angle of approach to EL’s work.  And I welcome any and all reactions to the interviews themselves—even the negative ones (no flames, please).  It’s all potentially useful for the book.

Posted: 17 January 2011 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Amazing interview. Hell, seemed it even impressed Mr. L, the references he had to think about. What makes this interview better than most, the interviewer has actually studied and given deeper thought, serious thought, to Mr. L’s works.

Talking about the ‘touch’ seemed disconcerting to him. That’s all about connection and openness and probably realizing that maybe unsettled him. A lot of patterns in his works, specially with character types. The ‘touch,’ though, may come from the writer exposing himself in a work that moves him in a special way.

Mr. L mentions Hemingway again and while I was reading Djibouti I was reminded many times of The Sun Also Rises. The major characters and their relationships from those two works mirror each other, it seems to me.

Again, what a rich, rich interview.

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