WRITERS AT WORK by Alfred- Intro. Kazin


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This is the third collection of the Paris Review interviews, a by now established if not obligatory series with a rather ectoplasmic introduction by Mr. Kazin who prefers the more personal casual fragments of Celine (his childhood in ""dignified poverty"") and Blaise Cendrars to those of the American writers who are ""too eager to explain themselves."" However, the latter will be the ones to attract off and on campus followers of the moderns: ""Piater ""I mean, I'm here""; Bellow on realism, a ""victim literature""; Burroughs who wrote because ""I had nothing else to do""; Mailer advertising himself most modestly and claiming ""great writers communicate a vision of existence""; etc. through a very representative roster, Cocteau, William Carlos Williams, Arthur Miller, Albee, James Jones (""I feel I have the right to overwrite""), Allen Ginsberg Waugh and Lillian Hellman. Throughout, the interviews afford a fascinating perspective of habits, influences, intentious, techniques, values, etc. Bellow quotes Herzog as saying ""what this country needs is a good five cent synthesis""; the interviews are an exemplary illustration, thereof.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1967
Publisher: Viking