Robert Frost on Ezra Pound and the Modern Poet

Interview excerpt from The Paris Review:

That’s one of the best things you can say about Pound: he wanted to be the first to jump. Didn’t call people up on the telephone to see how they were going to jump. He was all silent with eagerness.

***

So often they ask me—I just been all around, you know, been out West, been all around—and so often they ask me, “What is a modern poet?” I dodge it often, but I said the other night, “A modern poet must be one that speaks to modern people no matter when he lived in the world. That would be one way of describing it. And it would make him more modern, perhaps, if he were alive and speaking to modern people.”

Read the full here.

Advertisements

Ray Bradbury: The Art of Fiction

Interview excerpt from The Paris Review:

I often use the metaphor of Perseus and the head of Medusa when I speak of science fiction. Instead of looking into the face of truth, you look over your shoulder into the bronze surface of a reflecting shield. Then you reach back with your sword and cut off the head of Medusa. Science fiction pretends to look into the future but it’s really looking at a reflection of what is already in front of us. So you have a ricochet vision, a ricochet that enables you to have fun with it, instead of being self-conscious and superintellectual.

Read the full here.

Zadie Smith in Granta

Interview excerpted from Granta:

Whenever I write a novel I’m reminded of the essential hubris of criticism. When I write criticism I’m in such a protected position: here are my arguments, here are my blessed opinions, here is my textual evidence, here my rhetorical flourish. One feels very pleased with oneself. Fiction has none of these defenses. You are just a fool with a keyboard. It’s much harder. More frightening.

For full, read here.

Louise Erdrich: The Art of Fiction

Interview excerpted from The Paris Review:

I started writing Love Medicine after I realized that narrative was ­invading the poetry. In the beginning, I was trying to write a spare kind of poetry, like James Wright or Robert Creeley, I suppose, but it was terrible. Then I started writing poems with inner rhymes but as they became more complex they turned into narrative. I started telling stories in the poems. But the ­poems I could write jumping up from my desk or lying on the bed. Anywhere. At last, I had this epiphany. I wanted to write prose, and I ­understood that my real problem with writing was not that I couldn’t do it mentally. I couldn’t do it physically. I could not sit still. Literally, could not sit still.

Read the full text here.