A link to this literary interview podcast site appeared in my inbox a bit ago. In checking out the Bat Segundo Show pages, which I am happy to now know of, I found this interesting excerpt from an interview with Richard Flanagan on the mercurial faces of a novel:
“A book has many faces. I mean, in the end, a book isn’t what a writer thinks it is. A book is what a reader makes of it, when they lend the authority of their lives and their souls to it. … I just wanted to try and live within the world the way it was, and have a story that spoke as accurately as possible to it, in a way that might lead me and hopefully the reader to some broader sense of what the world is now. But I didn’t know what the world was. And I don’t pretend to have any clue. I have even less clue actually. But it’s always in story that things are revealed. Not in the author’s attitudes.”
A. Alvarez might argue that the book is a conversation that doesn’t exist without the reader.
I’ll definitely be checking it out more when I have some time–next on the substantial list: the podcast with David Mitchell, author of one of my favorite sort of recent novels, Cloud Atlas.