Here’s an interview I did with William H. Gass shortly after the publication of his immense & controversial novel The Tunnel in 1995. As with some earlier interviews I have posted here, this comes from a box of tapes in my basement, dating from a time when I did a weekly radio interview show. I had a lot of fun with this interview, partly because some heavy-hitting critics just tore the novel apart (I loved especially the ones who said it wasn’t a novel at all), and partly because Gass is a philosopher (a field of interest we share) and the book is dense with thought, history and wit. We cover the ground. We firmly place the novel in a tradition (when the critics mostly scratched their heads and said it didn’t fit anywhere), we talk about Nietzschean ressentiment, the spirit of the age (think: the Tea Party), about aphorisms and the form of the limerick (and the political implications thereof), and we talk about the vast comedy of the novel which critics also largely failed to notice.
I think these sound files should be listenable (is that a word?). They are reproduced from old tapes stored in a box for years and transferred to digital media with my usual haphazard, seat-of-the-pants approach to technology. Some people have complained (in regard to earlier interviews) that the sound stopped and then continued a lot. My sense is that this is just your computer loading the file from the Internet and is not a problem with the file itself. I also checked and this sound player works fine with Ipads.
See also my interviews with John Hawkes and Gordon Lish.
- The Enemies of the Novel: DG Interview With John Hawkes
- Causing Damage — Captain Fiction Redivivus: DG Interview With Gordon Lish