July 30, 2009
Nota Bene: Interview on Middlemarch
Back in May I made a trip to Ottawa to present a version of my work on Ahdaf Soueif at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. While I was there I enjoyed meeting up with Nigel Beale; we had a good dinner and talked a lot about books and reading and criticism, and then recorded a conversation about Middlemarch for Nigel's "Biblio File" collection. The interview is now available at Nigel's site. As I've mentioned here before, I have a bit of a reputation for talking fast, which I admit is (ahem) confirmed by this recording (I think I get a bit better as we go along, so if you do tune in, bear with me...). On the other hand, I also speak more or less in complete sentences, which I suppose counts in my favour. Ironically, I wondered before we started if I'd be able to think of much to say, as the set-up was informal and we didn't prepare at all; as it turned out, Nigel was probably wondering if he'd be able to get me to shut up. But then, isn't it the mark of a good interviewer that he keeps his subject talking? Thanks, Nigel, for giving me a chance to talk (and talk) about my favourite book--after listening to us, I feel charged up about teaching it again this year. I stand by my closing comments: it never disappoints.