Thursday, November 26, 2015

David Mitchell

David Mitchell's novels include The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, and most recently, Slade House. From Mitchell's interview with Fresh Air producer Sam Briger:

BRIGER: So the first chapter of this book, "Slade House," started out as a story you wrote on Twitter. Why did you want to write a story on Twitter? And why did you decide then to expand the original story into a longer book?

MITCHELL: I wanted to write the story on Twitter because I was a little bit embarrassed of having this Twitter account that my publisher really was only ever using to publicize bookshop appearances and the like. However, I don't really want to tweet about my private life. I don't feel it's that interesting and my privacy is important. So I didn't really have a means to use it as it felt legitimate until I hit upon the idea of using it as a sort of a vehicle for fiction which is what I'm interested about. So I already had the story. I translated it into tweets and then put those out over the course of about two or three weeks last year.

BRIGER: Did you like the restrictions that Twitter placed upon you?

MITCHELL: I like what I had to do to circumvent those restrictions. I view many artistic endeavors as being perhaps an analogist to straitjackets. And the more demonic and torturous the straitjacket is, the more audacious the act of escapology has to be to get out of that straitjacket. And if all goes well, that audacity, that escapology turns into an original manuscript. It's something not quite like something we've read before. And so yeah, it isn't - I like the restrictions. I like what you what to do to get around the restrictions.

BRIGER: The victims of the "Slade House" - right before their souls are going to be devoured, they actually see their souls - like their souls are these - float in front of their faces. And they're these globes. They look to some like tiny galaxies. And each one of them finds that soul beautiful. And not all of these people you have sympathy for. One of them is a corrupt and racist police officer. But since all of them see this all as beautiful, does - that suggested to me some sort of redemption. Was that your intent?

MITCHELL: Every character that I'm asking the reader to root for has to have...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue