The Interview Summary in English by Christopher Silvester Analysis and Explanation

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The Interview Summary in English by Christopher Silvester

The Interview by Christopher Silvester About the Author

Christopher Silvester (1959) was educated at Lancing College Sussex, and Peter House, Cambridge, where he read history. From 1983 to 1994, he worked for Private Eye, initially writing the ‘New Boys’ column. He has written for several newspapers and magazines. He is also the Editor of The Penguin Book of Interviews: An Anthology from 1859 to the Present Day and the author of The Pimlico Companion to Parliament. He currently writes obituaries for the Times (of London) and book reviews. He is writing a three-volume social history of Hollywood for Pantheon Books.

Author Name Christopher Silvester
Born 1959, London
Education Lancing College, Sussex, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read history
Books The Pimlico Companion to Parliament: A Literary Anthology
Books edited The Penguin Book of Interviews: An Anthology from 1859 to the Present Day
Christopher Silvester - the interview summary class 12
Christopher Silvester

The Interview Theme

The essay is an extract from the Introduction to The Penguin Book of Interviews. It discusses the interview as a communication genre that has come to stay.

Part I gives us two contrasting opinions about interviews—their functions, merits and methods. It also tells us about the importance of interview as a medium of conversation. Our most vivid impressions of our contemporaries are through interviews. Therefore, the interviewer holds a position of power. Part II is an extract from an interview of Umberto Eco. The interview shows the philosopher, academician and novelist.

Short Summary of The Interview in English

The Interview Summary Part I

Interviews are commonplace these days. Those who look at interviews positively consider them a source of truth and an art. Among the negative views on interviews is the opinion that they are an unwanted, unprovoked and unnecessary intrusion and invasion into a man’s private life; they leave people wounded and wrecked. There are some who have even described interviews as an ordeal and a thumbprint on their windpipe.

But, in the modern world, interviews are a supremely serviceable medium of communication and help to create impressions of our contemporaries. The interviewer holds a powerful position and influence.

The Interview Summary Part II

It is an excerpt from an interview of Prof. Umberto Eco. In his interview with Mukund Padmanabhan, Umberto talks about his interests, his style and the success of The Name of the Rose. He says that his chief interests are philosophical and ethical and these are also the dominant themes of his academic work and novels. Even his books for children are about non-violence and peace.

He says that there is a playful and personal quality in his works which is an adopted one. He discovered his style when he submitted his doctoral thesis. His thesis told a story of his research, his trials and errors. He then developed on his taste for narration. Hence his academic works are not dry and boring.

He elaborates how he utilizes even the briefest gaps in-between two different pieces of task that gives fallicious impression to other people that he is doing so many things. He calls these gaps ‘interstices’. Working during these interstices makes him work wonders.

The Name of the Rose was a brilliant success and brought him spectacular fame. Though a murder mystery with a detective yarn, it is essentially a novel about culture and delves into metaphysics, theology and medieval history. Its success could possibly be because of the difficult reading experience and interpretative reading that it offered to the reader who did not always seek easy reading experiences.

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