Monday, April 5, 2010

Philip Kerr

Scottish novelist Philip Kerr is the author of the acclaimed Bernie Gunther crime series and other novels. From his interview with crime fiction maven J. Kingston Pierce at The Rap Sheet:

JKP: What was your original conception of Bernie Gunther, and how do you think he’s evolved since that point? Is he still the man you imagined him to be in 1989?

PK: I wanted a German Everyman figure. That’s what I wanted him to be. That’s what he still is. … He’s a vehicle for political insight and philosophical conjecture. And for my own black sense of humor. ... I think of him as a little like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress. He’s weighed down by a great burden called sin; he’s looking for the shining light; he mounts the hill of difficulty; and along the way he meets Apollyon.

JKP: Would he be somebody you’d like to know as a friend?

PK: Lord, no. Bernie is like me in that he doesn’t have any friends. … I don’t feel the lack of friends, you understand. What I do doesn’t really encourage friendship. My only real friend is my wife. I seem quite friendly, however. I smile and chatter away and can work a room. Anyway, Bernie is an extension of my own inadequate personality, so I can’t imagine being friends with myself.

JKP: At what point did you realize you were writing a crime-fiction series? And were you hesitant about taking on such a project?
Read the complete interview.

--Marshal Zeringue