Geoff Dyer
In Conversation With Christopher Lydon

Interview, 2013
Christopher Lydon, Geoff Dyer

    Geoff Dyer
    Geoff Dyer. Photo by Curt Richter.

    British writer Geoff Dyer is known for his imaginative novels, insightful essays, and a number of idiosyncratic books which defy classification and blur the line between the creative and the critical. He writes frequently about photography, film, and music, and his work is marked by a persistent engagement with the writers, artists, and works of art that inspire him. Dyer was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for his 2012 essay collection Otherwise Known as the Human Condition. His Out of Sheer Rage (2009) was described by critic James Wood as “a glorious truant from study” and by comedian Steve Martin as simply “the funniest book I have ever read.”

    This recording from the 2013 Seminar presents Dyer in conversation with journalist Christopher Lydon, original host of the syndicated public radio show “The Connection.” Dyer characterizes Out of Sheer Rage, for all its “knockabout comedy,” as a serious attempt at recontextualizing D.H. Lawrence through attention to and emulation of his travel writings, essays, and letters. For Dyer, marginal genres are the proving ground for literary greatness, so that “Lawrence the writer of postcards, the jotter-down of thoughts” is superior to “Lawrence the novelist or the prophet of sexual revolution.” Dyer also discusses his friendship with the English critic John Berger, the works of writers including V.S. Naipaul, William Butler Yeats, and Friedrich Nietszche, and American jazz musicians including John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. “We all as writers want to arrive at some sort of universal truth, of course…. The chances of arriving at that universal truth are going to be greatly increased if you remain absolutely faithful to the vagaries of your own nature, the peculiarities and contingencies of [your] own experience.”

    From KWLS 2013: Writers on WritersThis recording is available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author. © Geoff Dyer. Used with permission from Geoff Dyer.

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