November 2, 2016 at 8:44 am #651
Dear Jonathan Coe
I am a swiss journalist working for two big dailies, 24 Heures and La Tribune de Genève. We had great pleasure to debate with you in Le Livre sur les Quais, in Morges one year ago, where you met our director, Thierry Meyer.
I was delighted to discover your new novel. As I plan a big piece around it, could you please take the time to answer these questions… Please excuse my poor english.
Thanks for your support. This would be great if you could send me back these answers as soon as possible, in order to complete a thursday deadline.
All the best,
– What a carve up! seems to be a kind of marker in your career. Could you explain why this masterpiece is so dear to your heart?
– This was a kind of cautionnary tale. Did you measure this was going to be so brutally prescient? And to which extent this knowledge influence the writing of this piece?
– Full of autoderision, you said this was "a preachy novel", "crude and simplistic". Why being so hard on yourself, or was this a kind of joke?
– You aren’t nostalgic, for sure! What do you hope for Britain, do you prefer to see your country with or without Brexit?
– I understand this is your 11th novel. But is this number has another special meaning to you – for George Perec, by example, 11 was a number he liked to put in his novels because it was the date of his beloved mother’s death?
– Are you superstitious, and was it just fun to publish Number 11, on the 11/11/2015 in England?
– A young girl, Rachel, is the magnet in this whirlwind of characters and stories. In What a carve up!, it was a middle-aged novelist. Does that mean that you are more attracted to youth and women’s perception now, than matured men’s one?
– Would you say that the kind of resignation that prevails nowadays is worst than ever – if you think that in 2002, the simple idea of a extrem right candidate at the french presidential elections, was revulsing, and that now, it’s quite "normal"! The same can be said about Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton, Brexit or no Brexit, etc.
– In a recent past, the word ADN was trendy, and used in every kind of contexts and situations. Now we believe in algoritmes till paranoiesque heights! What does that say about us?
– "Sequels where the relationship to the original is oblique, slippery…" Does that also reflect the way we accept or reject our social, political, genetic inheritance?
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