Pop Culture
Jan 21, 2017, 08:00AM

That's Easy

A 2007 Granta interview with author Richard Ford vs. a 1975 Paris Review interview with the late novelist Bernard Malamud.

8239364005 efecc174d5 b.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Richard Ford: So. Is it a matter of age?

Bernard Malamud: Experience, and books.

Ford: Probably an observer could make, or could’ve made, the same claim about the contemporary attention span at any given time in history.

Malamud: I like packing a self or two into a few pages, predicating lifetimes. 

Ford: How we experience what we experience is a complex business.


Malamud: The mythological analogy is a system of metaphor. The personal prison of entrapment in past experience, guilt, obsession—the somewhat blind or blinded self, in other words. 

Ford: I don’t much think about the unseen.

Malamud: They are your fictions.

Ford: They aren’t.

Malamud: Right. [laughs] Astonish me.


Ford: One becomes sensitive to what you might call the poetic qualities—rhythms, repetitions, sonorities, syncopations, the aptness of particular word choices—those qualities. 

Malamud: That’s a qualification.

Ford: Sketchy. Maybe.

Malamud: I’m against it, but when it occurs, why waste the experience?

Ford: That’s easy.


Register or Login to leave a comment