Saturday, February 23, 2008
Dave Lull draws my attention to this interview with John Ashbery. It is heroically unrevealing. Here, for example, is how he defines his method - 'I continue to write poetry, and I wait until it seems like there's enough to make a book, and then I put it all together and send it out.' How else could he write poetry? I sometimes wonder if I am quite sane liking Marilynne Robinson AND John Ashbery. It is impossible to imagine two more different writers - or, indeed, human beings. Ashbery can upset people of taste and judgment - liking Ashbery is the one fault Clive James finds with me in his otherwise flattering words about me on his web site. But I do, so there you go. I also wonder what happened to my own interview with him which seems to have vanished as if it never happened. That's a pity because, in the course of talking to me in his room at the Savoy, he said, 'I think I think but I don't think thinking is what it is thought to be', a fine sentiment.
PS Well here is a marvellous outcome. David Kermani emails from John Ashbery's email address to tell me that my interview is on the Carcanet web site - and so it is!
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:08 am