“Literature is the least pure of all the arts, and that is its richness and power. It’s a temporal art like a symphony; it has periodicities, it has rhythms — prose itself has sound, it evokes visual imagery like painting….” Jack Matthews, Interview 2010
I had already interviewed Mr. Matthews by email in 2009, and so naturally when I visited Mr. Matthews in Ohio in 2010, I had to interview him on various other topics which we never got around to in the first interview. I set up the interview in his personal writing room. (During the interview, his wife came in to pick up the breakfast dishes, and I believe the dog came in during the middle of it as well — you can probably hear it). We had a delightful talk. Matthews was talkative and full of erudition and digressions and personal anecdotes. I made it a point to try to ask him questions he hadn’t been asked before. As a matter of fact, I had just finished the quirky novel Tale of Asa Bean (which I loved) and had just started to read the historical novel Sassafras — which was a great comic novel about 19th century America. I also asked him to talk about Gambler’s Nephew (which was published in 2011) and Schopenhauer’s Will (which should be published in late 2013 or early 2014). I hope this discussion sheds insight about Matthews’ approach to fiction and what sort of things inspire him.
Finally in the last 5 minutes Mr. Matthews reads a flash story called “The Lesson”.
Audio Download: Mp3 file (46MB– 48 minutes long)
4:40 Gambler’s Nephew
14:40 Talking about Schopenhauer’s Will and his fascination with Schopenhauer’s life
21:46: Talking about Abruptions
25:00 Talking about Novel, Asa Bean
35:30 What JM was doing at 25 — Early Writing Life
40:00 Talking about Hanger Stout, Awake
46:00 Reading of the flash story “The Lesson” (from Abruptions)