This was before the last Ice Age, before the Flood, before the Great Extinctions of the Triassic: I had a weekly radio show for a couple of years, interviewing authors. Rummaging around in my boxes the other day, I happened upon the tapes, or at least some of the tapes. And then I figured out how to get the tapes onto my computer (I used an ancient Aiwa walkman player and a connecting cable that once belonged to talking Christmas tree we had around the place to terrify the dog — don’t ask). The result of all this techno-wizardry is the following two-part interview with the great American experimentalist John Hawkes upon the publication of his novel The Frog (about a boy who accidentally swallows a frog that takes up residence in his stomach and both blesses and bedevils him thereafter — for example, with the frog’s long sticky tongue, he is a great hit at the neighborhood brothel). Hawkes is famous for having once said that plot, character, setting and theme are the enemies of the novel. This conversation took place in 1996. One curious thing is the way my voice changes in the course of the interview.
John Hawkes & The Frog Part 1
John Hawkes & The Frog Part 2
re: vocal change….at 2:41 of part 2 you can hear that the tape speed changes; speeds up, and both your voices nudge up the octave ladder….and ironically, Hawkes has just said “at my worst moments…”