Sunday, January 25, 2009
In The Sunday Times I write about the exhibition of contemporary Middle Eastern art at the Saatchi Gallery, I review Andrew Price's book Slow-Tech and I talk to Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum. At the end of the MacGregor piece I mention his reticence, the way he has managed to remain 'hidden in plain view'. This was inspired by something Neil said as I turned off my recorders - 'You're so maddeningly reticent on these occasions!' After a moment, I realised he meant I didn't comment on what he was saying as he said it. This may be a weakness in my technique as, in the course of interviews, I tend to immerse myself in the world view of the interviewee and only afterwards do I start to judge it. Later I realised Neil's remark was a serious case of the pot calling the kettle black. He is more reticent than anybody else I know, politically and personally. Next to him, Rowan Atkinson is an open book. In fact, I admire this; there is too little reticence in the contemporary world. So perhaps what I meant was it was a nasty case of the pot calling the kettle white.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:35 am